Cultural and creative life

The best places to see artworks at night in Sydney

Some of Sydney’s most inspiring art comes come to life when darkness falls. Venture into the neighbourhoods to discover the places that locals love.

Earth v Sky

Aspire, Pyrmont

Embedded content:

Nestled under the Western Distributor at Ultimo, you’ll come across this unlikely forest of glowing golden trees.

During the day, the polyethylene sculptures stand out bold and white against their grey concrete surroundings. At night, they bring light and colour to the dark, gloomy space beneath the freeway. Positioned between the ground and the overpass, the delicate trunks give the illusion of holding up the lanes of roaring traffic overhead.

Aspire commemorates the successful community action that saved homes in nearby Fig Street from being demolished to make way for the freeway.

Corner pubs, fish markets and the perfect Italian meal. Discover bustling Pyrmont.

Earth v Sky, Glebe

Embedded content:

Purple fig trees on the waterfront of Jubilee Park. Yes, you read that right. In fact, you’ll find purple, blue, red and pink tones washed across these two magnificent Moreton Bay fig trees. Catch them as the sun sets over Sydney, and you’ll see them bathed in breathtaking colour.

Powered by the City of Sydney’s first wind turbine, Earth v Sky uses data sampling technology to reflect the changing colours of the evening sky.

As the lights gently fade, you’ll barely notice them the colours at first. Then, ever so slowly, they’ll increase in intensity, moving through a glowing spectrum in response to the sunset. As the night sky falls, the lights dim and the show is over.

Wandering along Glebe Point Road to seek out unique designers, beautiful handicrafts and local artisans is the perfect way to spend the afternoon. Once dusk starts to fall head to Jubilee Park to see the magic of Earth vs Sky. Head to Glebe.

Halo, Central Park

Embedded content:

This artwork manages to stand out against a 116-metre vertical garden in Chippendale’s Central Park. The giant 12-metre diameter golden ring suspends, defying gravity, from a 13-metre tilted silver mast.

Even by day Halo is a spectacular sight. At night, the work creates a dazzling effect as it rolls, tilts and spins in the wind, providing a perfect Instagram subject with its absorbing evening glow.

The sculpture was inspired by the site’s brewing heritage, with the shape representing the giant circular structures that held the brewing vats. The fluid motion of the ring echoes the constant stirring of the beer during brewing.

What Chippendale lacks in size it makes up in personality. Once you’ve seen the dazzling sight of Halo, take a stroll around the laneways to discover the bars and restaurants. Explore more of Chippendale.

Heaven, Chinatown

Embedded content:

Chinatown by day or night has a distinct hustle bustle. But as the sun sets, the smell and sounds of this inner-city neighbourhood really come to life. At the intersection of Dixon and Little Hay streets, you’ll find your way lit by a spectacular glowing disc, suspended high above the street.

Heaven is lit from 6pm until midnight every evening. Woven with thousands of fibre-optic strands, its changing colours slowly mark the passing of time.

The wider strands change colour once an hour, the thinner ones every 10 minutes. The colours morph from purple, blue and green to yellow and orange. At the stroke of midnight, the artwork glows startling red then falls into darkness until the next evening.

In Between Two Worlds, Chinatown

Embedded content:

Stroll past Heaven in the heart of Chinatown and you’ll find yourself looking left down Kimber Lane. At night the laneway comes alive with hanging silver figures casting a blue glow on everything below.

These half-human, half-spirit figures, inspired by Aboriginal and Chinese heritage, represent our past, present and future ancestors.

Spectacular wall and floor murals are etched into the granite laneway. In Between Two Worlds' repeating pattern of blue clouds painted on the walls and floor symbolise neverending fortune.

Chinatown is always buzzing with activity. It’s the best place for Asian cuisine and the toughest decision you’ll make is where to go! We’ve collated the best of Haymarket and Chinatown.

Published 24 August 2018, updated 29 November 2023