Micro Parks: Calliope’s Nest in pictures

Kathy communes with the nest

For one weekend in May, the small parks that dot inner-Sydney’s Surry Hills were transformed into jaw-dropping outdoor galleries, with free contemporary art installations and performances in Micro Parks. Over 7,500 people visited the four parks featured over the weekend.

Ensemble Offspring presented the site-specific installation, Calliope’s Nest, decorating Cooper Street Reserve with colourful plastic nests. When sounded by the wind, these curious sculptures murmured gently to the backdrop of birdsong. In performance they became instruments, forming a bizarre ritual that both exalted and interfered with nature.

Take a visual journey through Calliope’s Nest, from early experimentation to final performance.


Starting life as blue tubing
It all started life as coils of striking blue tubing.


creating order
And a team of people creating order…


from chaos
…from chaos.


Early tests of the installation
A lot of early testing took place to create the right sound quality and aesthetics.


Testing the sound
Testing the sound with leafblowers that were carefully researched to find the quietest (and thus confounding numerous hardware store staff)


locals at play
Even some passers-by offered their thoughts:
A couple of landscapers who brought their industrial leafblower to test the installation: “This is fully sick. I want it in my backyard”
Pre-school teacher: “You realise you’ve just totally blown 20 little minds.”
Mounted police: “This is bloody awesome”


Ensemble Offspring at Micro Parks
Claire Edwardes, Damien Ricketson and Jason Noble push the boundaries of concert attire as they prepare for their first of 12 performances over three days.


Micro parks audience
And the audience gathered. Photo courtesy of Kate Lochrin


Claire Damien and Jason in Calliopes Nest
Claire, Damien and Jason enveloped by Calliope’s Nest.


A commuter caught unaware
A few unsuspecting by-passers were caught unawares.


Jason and Damien battle in the nest
Jason and Damien battle within the nest. Photo courtesy of Lucy Parakhina and Performance Space


Claire performs with chortle ball
Before the performance returns to calm, with the gentle sounds of made instruments, chortle balls. Photo courtesy of Lucy Parakhina and Performance Space


Kathy communes with the nest
As performer, Kathy Cogill, communes with the nest. Photo courtesy of Lucy Parakhina and Performance Space


Kids get their hands on leafblowers
And the audience took their chance to play the nest.


Calliope’s Nest

Concept | Damien Ricketson
Nest design | Edward Horne
Performers | Kathy Cogill, Claire Edwardes & Jason Noble

Fri 16th – Sun 18th May, 1pm to 5pm (performances on the hour)
Cooper Street Reserve Surry Hills (end of Cooper St, adjoining Riley St)

Presented by Performance Space with the support of the City of Sydney.