City Art Laneways

An opportunity to deliver temporary public art projects in the heart of the city.

Colourful artwork hanging from a ceiling

Linda Fiskus

Procurement Specialist - Queries regarding the online form

City Art

If you have any questions about this expression of interest please email us.

Applications have closed

Thank you for your interest.

Get notified of other opportunities for artists.

2020 program timeline

  • 10am Monday 16 November – Applications close
  • Mid-November – Projects awarded
  • November to December – Project development
  • 11 January 2021 – Project installation

About this program

Re-imagine and regenerate the city

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

Arundati Roy, The Pandemic is a Portal, Financial Times, April 2020

We’re seeking Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to create public artworks that reimagine city spaces and bring Sydneysiders back to the city.

Creative thinkers, artists and multidisciplinary teams with a strong interest in sustainability, communities and urbanism, this is a great opportunity for you to create a temporary public art project in the heart of the city by 11 January 2021.

This project is part of the City of Sydney and NSW Government’s $20 million fund to boost the city centre economy, support businesses and create jobs across the vital summer period.

Artist’s brief

Our once globalised city, now unusually empty, asks us to reconsider, reconfigure and regenerate public space and public life. The Covid-19 pandemic represents an extraordinary opportunity to pursue public art projects that interrogate, evaluate and reorient our civic spaces and how they influence people’s experiences of our city.

We’re seeking inventive projects unafraid to explore and inspire new experiences in reinterpreted public spaces, in particular laneways.

Bold, fresh, relevant and meaningful interventions that reflect on Sydney’s past, present and future will be favourably looked upon, as will proposals that respectfully include Aboriginal stories, knowledge and heritage.

Ideally, proposals will present a strong visual and sensory impact harnessing an increased sense of empathy for each other, the natural environment and contribute to the sustainability, health and wellbeing of people and city spaces.

We welcome concepts that include:

  • installations
  • environmental art
  • plant-based projects
  • soundscapes
  • augmented/mixed reality
  • projected visuals
  • timed based media art
  • socially engaged practices

Mural art can form a component of your concept, but we won’t accept mural or street art only.

View previous laneway artworks.


You can choose from the following locations:

  1. Bridge Street/ Abercrombie Lane/ Tank Stream Way
  2. Little Hunter Street
  3. Wynyard Street and Wynyard Lane
  4. Barrack Street
  5. Temperance Lane
  6. Wilmot Street and Central Street
  7. Barlow Street
  8. St Laurence Lane

If 2 selected proposals are received for the same location, we'll work with one of the teams to identify a suitable alternate location.

Locations map - City Art LanewaysPDF · 1.33 MB · Last modified

Briefing for artists

A briefing was held on Friday 6 November.

Download a copy of the presentation including the questions and answers discussed.

City Art Laneways - Artist briefing 6 November 2020PDF · 2.29 MB · Last modified

Selection criteria

  1. Strength and innovation of the concept, proposed approach and methodology
  2. Response to the brief, site, context and local communities
  3. Artist’s previous experience or demonstrated potential to work site-specifically
  4. Capacity to install the artwork by 11 January 2021 within the budget


  • 10am Monday 16 November – Applications close
  • Mid-November – Projects awarded
  • November to December – Project development
  • 11 January 2021 – Project installation

Projects are to be installed for a minimum of 1 month with a preferred time frame of up to 6 months.


We’re offering $50,000 including GST per artwork for up to 4 projects. This must include all costs associated with delivering, installing and removing the final artwork. Low impact works will be required to avoid length in achieving planning approvals and owners’ consents. We'll assist in this process and cover fees for acquiring approvals.

Application requirements

All applications must be made through the online form. Emailed submissions won’t be accepted.

Applications close 10am Monday 16 November 2020

To complete the form you’ll need to provide:

  1. Idea, concept outline and methodology 
  2. Sketch/concept visuals
  3. CV of all team members including relevant experience and names and contacts of 2 referees
    Maximum 2 examples of relevant completed artworks.
    Examples should only be 1 A4 page with images and a short description of the project and your role in it.
  4. Timeline indicating installation by Monday 11 January 2021
  5. An indicative production budget 


By applying to this expression of interest, artists are agreeing to the terms outlined in the public art commissioning agreement.


For all application queries regarding the online form, please contact Linda Fiskus [email protected]

For all queries relating to the artist's brief, email [email protected]