Urbanised and sprawling, Sydney is deeply urbane yet paradoxically wild. A secret city of animals, both seen and unseen, exists amongst us. We are coupled and tethered to the animal world in a symbiotic relationship that stretches from the present into the past.
Birds sweep through our skies and pick at our waste, cats rule social media networks, dogs are preened and prepped, and rats scurry endlessly within close proximity. Animals are depicted through deeply symbolic decoration, from public art to architectural motifs. Yet this relationship is often overlooked.
Something Else is Alive: Sydney and the Animal Instinct approaches the idea of the animal in the city in various ways from the humorous to the downright creepy, from the symbolically sacred to the secular.
The exhibition will feature objects drawn from the City of Sydney collection and archives alongside artworks by four Sydney-based artists: Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Blak Douglas, Mylyn Nguyen and Garry Trinh. The show will also include the dog’s eye view of Bailey Haggarty – rescue dog and Assistant Director of Seagulls at the Australian National Maritime Museum, dramatic footage of a Peregrine Falcon preying on a pigeon on a ledge of the Westpac building, Il Porcellino, Sydney’s wild boar with a lucky snout, fascinating 19th century letters of complaint received by the Lord Mayor and a 24-hour bee-cam.
Something Else is Alive will investigate everything from the difference between Indian myna and noisy miner birds, to what the horses of the NSW Mounted Police get up to when they’re not fighting crime. It will engage people from all walks of life.
Weekends, 11am to 4pm
Thursday 17 August 2017 to Sunday 18 March 2018
Except public holidays
- Mobility access