The opening night of this year’s Sydney Festival (January 8) saw the Australian Museum’s loading dock transformed by Workshop Events into a stunning party space to launch John Baldessari: Your Name in Lights.
Kaldor Public Arts Project invited Workshop Events to be involved in the launch of its 23rd public artwork, produced in conjunction with the Sydney Festival and presented by the Australian Museum.
The latest work by US artist Baldessari, Your Name in Lights is an interactive display on the William Street facade of the museum, which will put the names of more than 100,000 registered participants up in lights for 15 seconds each, throughout the Sydney Festival.
Workshop Events provided their expertise and event management services in kind to create an opening night event for 170 guests, starting with a cocktail party in the museum’s loading dock, located below the facade where the artwork is mounted.
The team transformed the loading dock from a grey-walled, cement-rendered space, featuring skip bins and a security gate, into a stunning event venue, dressed simply but stylishly, so as not to detract from the artwork itself.
The space was lit in bold colours reminiscent of the LED colours of the artwork, while one wall of the loading dock – a beautiful sandstone fascia – was lit with gold. A wide, red carpet runner ran the length of the venue space, reflecting the importance of delivering a VIP artist such as Baldessari to Australia.
Backlit fabric screens contained the space for an intimate party vibe and contemporary hollow, black bar tables featured a flash of colour inside. The team installed a feature curved mirrored bar, which was home to wait staff wearing ‘my name is……’ T-shirts, provided by Kaldor Public Art Projects.
Shortly before the launch moment, guests were directed across William Street to a viewing area which Workshop Events set up in a clear marquee on the Cook+Phillip Park, against the backdrop of St Mary’s Cathedral.
Cocktails and mini ice-creams were served as guests counted down in sync with the LED artwork screen to the official launch of the LED work, opened by Australian actor Barry Humphries.
Workshop Events also assisted with the production of the bold red signage wall and orange seating within the viewing area.
Fireworks were released at exactly 9:00pm as the first name appeared on the screen – John Baldessari. Within 15 seconds, the next name was revealed and this will continue until the close of the Sydney Festival, on January 30.
Guests attending the event included many of the patrons and board members of the Kaldor Art Project, Australian Museum and supporters of the arts. Catering was provided by Laissez Faire, serving guests a selection of hors d’hoerves and drinks.