The 19th Biennale of Sydney is not really a food related event. But half our adventures are often art related anyway, so let’s take this ‘detour’ from food.
After having breakfast at Baroque Pantry, we took the 10.30am Biennale Ferry to Cockatoo Island. Tickets must be booked online and costs $7 return. Apparently it used to be free.
Despite the weather forcast that it would be raining, the day starts off very sunny and bright. The trip takes about 20 mins and soon enough we spot Cockatoo Island:
Welcome to Cockatoo Island
Cockatoo Island is a World Heritage listed site! So tread carefully. It’s valued because of it’s long history of being a convict prison facility. Basically the convicts who were resettled in Australia – if they committed crimes again – were sent off to Cockatoo Island. It also has a long history of being a shipping yard so it’s kind of a cool…urban jungle!
Right after getting off the ferry, we notice this big black bird showing off its wings ! Lots of people crowded around to take photos, including this woman who started to imitate the bird by holding out her arms….
We grab a map and head into the closest building:
This is a video installation, where the transcript of a police interrogation plays out on these big screens. The interrogation involves a woman who was accused of shooting her husband with his own hand gun.
I’m not really a fan of video installations. They require time and concentration… we only stop for a few minutes, then hurry onto art more suited to my tastes.
I’m not sure if this was an artwork, but it looks kind of cool.
Next up, we wandered into this shipping building where there were drapes one after the other. We walked through and sadly:
Another video installation….
The installation is set inside an old shipping building, which has tracks leading into the water.
This hole in the rags makes for good peeking.
Afterwards we climb up these steep stairs that lead up to the upper island.
The views here are pretty sweet, and we pass by some stone ruins which were used to house convicts back in the day. The solitary confinements look kinda creepy.
Look at that bright sky! So much for raining…
Inside this old Victorian house was one of my favourite installations. It uses a bit of video projection/installation as well, but does so subtly. The effect is what feels like a ghost house.
I won’t spoil it for you, but definitely check out each room.
For those wanting to stay the night, Cockatoo Island offers normal camping as well as ‘glamping’ experiences. What is glamping? It’s basically glamorous camping…
It must be stifling hot in those tents! They also had larger multi-room tents.
This is the cliff face that separates the lower dock areas and the upper part of the island.
This was another video installation – this time about Japanese protestors against nuclear power in Japan.
The Apron and Industrial Precinct part
So the lower part of the island (not the docks area) is called the Eastern or Northern Apron, or Industrial Precinct.
We wander past a few restaurants/cafes now and onto a wide stretch of grass:
This is a series of WORD installations around Sydney. Aside from this one, there are two others – one is outside the Museum of Contemporary Art.
On the cliff face was a big Google screen! And a Google train carrying passengers into Google mountain… We were really excited to sit in tiny train and ride into a cliff face, but as we lined up, they told us that the tickets for the session had all been given out and to come back at like 2.30pm.
So make sure, if you go, to check the times and grab tickets!
We continue and soon we come upon a big industrial building:
Look at these girls working out! Must be tiring. But she’s still smiley!
So are we! This was a really fun area where they’ve converted gym equipment into cool science type toys. I like interactive art and the works are very playful and colourful.
But note! These are real gym equipment. Therefore you actually get a work out and need to pump those muscle to make the toys work! For example, here, when D2D works his guns those bamboos will shake and I think bubbles come out!
Here is another one, where the ping pong ball floats up when you work the machine.
Afternoon Tea: Bamboo Dumpling Bar
After so much walking around the Island (and the day turning out to be hot/sunny despite the weather forecast), we need an arvo tea break:
This is Bamboo Dumpling Bar set up using crates and wood, but still seeming very comfortable and cool.
Be warned, the food and drinks on the Island are expensive.
This can of coke (yes, very refreshing in the hot sun) was $4 and the Rekorderlig Passionfruit Cider (tastes really good) was $8.
We also order some dumplings to snack on. They had ice cream dumplings, but only had strawberry left, so we opted for prawn and pork dumplings ($10).
If I had known that they were SUI MAI I wouldn’t have ordered them…because I was expecting something different/interesting.
This is what happens when restaurants name Chinese foods by what they actually are (prawn/pork dumplings) as opposed to the Chinese name, haha.
D2D suspects that all these dumplings are in fact mass purchased from Costco and they just steam them up for us, charging an exorbitant price for each dumpling!
I prefer not to think that we paid so much for 5 dumplings (one of which I dropped on the ground…) and I hope they are handmade as Bamboo Dumpling Bar is a restaurant I’ve heard of before.
Anyway, that pretty much rounds up our visit to Cockatoo Island and the 19th Biennale of Sydney!
The ferry drops us back off in Circular Quay, so we head to the Museum of Contemporary Art where they also have works for the Biennale.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Here are the highlights:
This was on Level 1. On Level 3, we see more works.
In a way, I preferred these works more than the ones on Cockatoo Island, which seemed to have too many video installations. Given the space and site of Cockatoo Island, I hoped to see more sculptures and physical installations, rather than watching a screen…
That wraps it up for this very long art post! We’ll be back with food soon.