Nick Cave at the Carriageworks

I was lucky enough to witness something incredible in Sydney this summer. I had seen multiple pictures on Instagram with people posing in this art installation and I had been dying to go head over to the Carriageworks for a really long time. It seems it was the perfect moment to go there one charming afternoon.

It was better than I imaged it would be. I was in disbelief as I entered this huge workshop that was part of the railways. It is a massive venue that is the most perfect place for all these iconic art installations. From ceiling to floor there where thousands of charms floating in the air as they moved in the wind but as beautiful and enchanting as it was there was also a shocking moment when you discovered the meaning of these charms have guns, bullets, teardrops and galaxies etched on them. It is known as the Kinetic Spinner Forest where it really does show there is sorrow amongst beauty now and not everything is as it seems.


I spoke to one of the gallery attendants about the artist and I learnt so much about this installation, I had no idea how powerful it would be. Nick Cave is an African-American Artist who crew up in a low social economic status, forcing him to repair the hand me downs from his siblings which gave him the inspiration to develop skills manipulating fabrics. You will know his previous work of his Soundsuit that are styled as a full body suit with what looks like tassels that move and shake as his artform was performed.

This installation at the Carriageworks UNTIL is a take on the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’ but he has flipped it around to his phrasing of ‘guilty until proven innocent’ which sadly is now how society has become. He has addressed the issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations and gender politics in America.


“Is there racism in heaven?” He has created a Crystal Cloudscape through a collection as antiques that are cultural inappropriate and treasures found from the past as it creates a story atop of a cloud of chandeliers that you can climb above. This cloudscape is in the centre of the Kinetic Spinner Forest leading you down the path. Remember to look closely as not everything is as it seems.

In the second room you are hit with the space covered in the Beaded Cliff Wall. These are woven beaded curtains which are a mixture stunning African art and messages such as the word Power, peace signs, rainbows and smiley faces. Not to mention another wall that is a homage to his Soundsuits, this wall is known as Flow/Blow which is the life-giver, cleanser and healing agents of water and oxygen that keeps us alive, I wanted move than anything to dive in and swim through the shining blue.


This whole installation is the perfect juxtaposition of beautiful and charm then mixed with the horrors that continue in the modern world sadly that should be a thing.

It is one of the best pieces of Modern Art I have ever seen. It is enchanting, beautiful and powerful but shows and reminds us of the sorrow that happens everyday, even when we what to escape from the world we need to remember to keep fighting for the future.

The Carriageworks host many different installations throughout the year along with a Food Night Markets, Farmer Markets every Saturdays and a variety of Music Gigs. There is something always happening there so head over to their website to see what they are up to next.