Publication Details

Ihlein, L. M., Holder, J., Bonetto, D., Armstrong, P., Miers, S., Quick, M. & McDonald, F.. Green Bans Art Walk Project. Exhibitions at First Draft Depot and The Cross Arts Projects accompanied by public programs including walks and a film night. 6 to 27 August. 2011.



Research Background

The Green Bans Art Walks were developed as part of the Performance Space's WALK programme in 2011, acknowledging walking as a key tendency in recent international art practice. The Green Bans Art Walks project engaged with this phenomenon using the political history of the Green Bans in inner-Sydney as its geographical/cultural context.

Research Contribution

The Green Bans - actions to stop commercial development throughout the 1970s - were developed by the Builders Laborers Federation (BLF) in collaboration with local community groups. While their importance in preserving the architectural and social heritage of Sydney is widely acknowledged, access to this history has become increasingly difficult. The Green Bans Art Walks generated a framework in which citizens could engage with this history, 40 years on.

Research Significance

The Green Bans Art Walks created an embodied framework - via walking - to experience a range of key historical sites in Sydney. Two exhibitions: at The Cross Arts Projects, Kings Cross, and at Big Fag Press, Woolloomooloo, were linked by a walking performance event, led by key protagonists in the original Green Bans movement. The project was included in the programme for the 2011 Sydney Design Festival; received significant funding from both City of Sydney and Performance Space; won the inaugural Awesome Foundation Award; was reviewed in Realtime and Art Monthly Australia; and featured in the Live Art Almanac Vol.3 (2013) published by the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) in London. A comprehensive website was launched to house the project's key research findings: http://www.greenbans.net.au/



On the fortieth anniversary of the Green Bans, Green Bans Art Walk captures the ideals and struggle to protect the character of the inner-city areas of Woolloomooloo, Darlinghurst and Kings Cross. These were the most brutal of the Green Ban struggles.

Green Bans Art Walk revives the old walkways across Woolloomooloo basin accessed from stairs in Victoria Street on the escarpment. The Walk symbolically re-unifies a beautiful area disconnected by rail and freeway structures, ugly site consolidations and looming high-rise. Green Bans Art Walk opens up this crucial part of Sydney’s history for a new generation.

Link to publisher version (URL)

The Cross Arts Project