As part of the Art and About Festival, presented by the City of Sydney and Intimate Spectacle The Walking Neighbourhood took to the streets of Kings Cross and Redfern over a three week residency.
KINGS CROSS “What would this neighbourhood be like with children?”
The Walking Neighbourhood Kings Cross involved eleven children aged six to eleven to develop five unique walks around the Cross, including our first ever audio tour. We partnered with these children and their workers from the Woolloomooloo OSHC (Outside School Hours Care) centre for two weeks to host workshops and support the creation of their walking tours. The workshops were high energy and a lot was achieved in a very short period of time. This was the youngest age group we have ever worked with. Various works explored local shops and shop keepers, including the most expensive item to be found in an antique centre worth $22,000. While other walks focused on secret car parks with night sky views, the ice cream shop as an ode to Frozen the children’s movie, a quick soccer game, and the longest walk to date through Woolloomooloo, where we encountered the apartments some of the children live in and a guy they knew who lived in his car.
The Rex, a community facility with a whole lot of local history, became our home and saw us transforming a large, conference space into a bright and proud replica of Kings Cross. The Departure Lounge was filled with found objects including a full sized suitcase and various wasted objects, a massive and flamboyant replica of the famous fountain, road mappings and old fashioned games like hopscotch, a sound gallery and a hang out corner with boxes and fabrics to make the city as you please.
During the process it became clear that Kings Cross is not a child friendly neighbourhood. The artists focused a new question in this process, what would this neighbourhood be like with Children? The artists used the Lounge as a conversation starter about this issue.
The children, artists and volunteers presented six shows over three days including the first ever Walking Neighbourhood Audio Tour, which included the voices of our guides telling stories about Kings Cross and about the creative process.