These Slightly Terrifying Horse Monsters Are Taking Over Sydney This Month

Who needs the Melbourne Cup?

Brought to you by the City of Sydney’s Art & About and Carriageworks.

This time of year, Melbourne is known for its horses. It has big parties around them. It cheers them on while they run in big circles. It even gets a day off work in their honour. But it’s also all pretty predictable. If you want something more exciting this month, you may have to head to Sydney. There, the horses are cloaked in colourful raffia, emanating music, dancing, made out of found materials, and each filled with two very creative humans.

I almost don’t want to give you any more context than this.


Sydney’s Melbourne Cup Parade, 2016.

These works are actually the creation of seminal American artist Nick Cave — a person who is neither a famous Australian musician, nor someone who particularly cares about our country’s love of horse racing. The horse-like costumes are what he calls “soundsuits” and will be in action for three performances as part of Art & About — a year-long series of public art projects happening throughout Sydney. The site-specific show, HEARD.SYD will take place at Carriageworks on November 12, after bustling its way straight through people’s day in Pitt Street Mall on November 10.

This is quite a big deal in the art world. Though Cave has previously visited Australia to speak at festivals and events, this is the first time he’s presented a major work in the country. The “soundsuits” are also particularly noteworthy. They’ve been used for similar weird but wonderful performances in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, Dallas, Texas and Detroit.

If you’d like more information about exactly what their new performance will entail… we can’t help all that much. The dancers inside the costumes will stomp and writhe and slink around to pacific drummers, each movement producing a unique sound that will build to a new composition as they interact with their environment. The final result will be relatively sporadic. Cave intends it to be something magical “that takes us out of the familiar”, so maybe it’s best to go in with a clear and open mind.


Way better than the Melbourne Cup imo.

You can check out HEARD.SYD at Pitt Street Mall at 5pm November 10, or 10am and 12pm at Carriageworks on November 12. All performances are free to the public.  

Brought to you by the City of Sydney’s Art & About and Carriageworks.