Free yoga in June

Lunchtime yoga

Lunchtime yoga

If you happened to be walking past Museum of Sydney at lunchtime yesterday you may have noticed a yoga class taking place on the grass.

As part of our Public Sydney forecourt experiment, we’ve invited yogi, Simone Skinner-Smith, to run lunchtime yoga workshops each Tuesday in June – and it’s free!

Simone teaches ‘Hatha’ yoga and has been practising yoga for over 11 years in all corners of the world including India, Bali, Mauritius, London and most recently in her home town of Sydney.

Sessions run from 12.15pm-1pm, with mats provided, so just turn up in your yoga clothes and join in.

Classes are limited to 15 people only so it’s first in, best dressed.

Some of our yoga experimenters yesterday said that the city location of this yoga class offers a unique experience, especially when reaching up to the towering buildings above!

The details: 

Free yoga classes on the Museum of Sydney forecourt (First Government House Place)

Dates: Every Tuesday in June

Times: 12.15pm-1pm

Mats provided. Classes limited to 15 people on a first in, best dressed basis. Wear appropriate clothing for a yoga class. No yoga experience necessary. Classes are weather dependent and will not proceed in rainy weather.  

Lunchtime yoga

Lunchtime yoga

Yo-yoers on the forecourt

Museum of Sydney forecourt

Museum of Sydney forecourt

We have it on good authority that there’ll be some talented yo-yoers taking over the Museum of Sydney forecourt today at 1pm. The group have been known to show off their yo-yo skills around some of the city’s other public areas, so we’re excited to have them come try out our space.

If you’re in the city, come along and watch them do their thing!

Museum of Sydney forecourt (First Government House Place), 1pm, Wednesday 29th May. 

We blog the city

Image credit: Rachael Holt

Image credit: Rachael Holt

This Sunday at Museum of Sydney, come listen to Public Sydney and Mirror Sydney blogger, Vanessa Berry, when she speaks at our Vivid Sydney talk, Digital City 1 – We blog the city.

Vanessa will be joined on stage by 52 Suburbs and 52 Suburbs Around The World blogger, Louise Hawson, as well as My Darling Darlinghurst blogger, Violet Tingle. Find out what inspired these bloggers to share their experiences of the cities and suburbs they’ve explored!

For details and tickets click here.

How do you make a space public?


Children playing chess

Since laying some plush green turf, deck chairs, planter boxes and chess pieces, we’ve seen a lot of activity happening on the Museum of Sydney forecourt! Why? It seems our public space experiment is working!

As part of Public Sydney, we asked exhibition visitors what they would like to do on the Museum forecourt. Our aim is to encourage the public to spend more time enjoying this space rather than just passing through. Based on the feedback we received, we manipulated the layout of the space which has led to a change in the way people use it and has increased the amount of time visitors spend there. The chess set, inspired by Hyde Park, is very popular with kids and there is a constant stream of adults challenging their friends to a game. Our planter boxes, currently home to herbs and greenery, are also set to flourish, although we wonder if the sometimes windy conditions may keep the plants from venturing too high above the garden bed! People stretch out in the deck chairs and look up at the city’s buildings, noticing architectural details that exist above our normal eye line.  Both the deck chairs and bench seating offer people a place to relax in the Autumn sun, eat their lunch and make use of our free Wifi.

Be sure to drop in and check it out, grab a coffee from the café and tell us what you think of our public space experiment!

Meet the photographer behind Public Sydney

Image: James Horan

Image: James Horan

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the Public Sydney exhibition also features a selection of amazing images by photographer, James Horan, which capture the essence of the city’s public spaces and the people that use them.

This Saturday 18th May, James will be joining us in the exhibition gallery to discuss some of the stories behind the images and to talk about some of the people he met during the project.

If you haven’t been to see Public Sydney yet or want to meet the artist, be sure to come along!


Public Sydney artist talk

Museum of Sydney

Saturday 18th May, 2pm-3pm

Free with museum entry, bookings not required 

Looking up in Sydney

Hermes statue

Hermes statue

Inspired by the roof garden visible on top of Booth House, across from the Museum of Sydney, I got to thinking about other above-street-level surprises on Sydney’s streets.

My favourite is at the corner of Castlereagh and King Streets. I have walked past this corner many times but one day, looking up, I was surprised to see a horseman on the roof of the corner building.

What was this Napoleon-like gentleman doing on top of a Sydney office building? The answer lies in the sign behind it, as he is one of the symbols of Hermes; a similar statue decorates the roof of the Hermes building in Paris. It is good to know the explanation, but this doesn’t make it any less unusual a sight.

What other strange things exist above street level in Sydney? Let us know if you have any favourite rooftop sights.

We have been listening


Visitors to the Public Sydney exhibition have made some great suggestions about things they’d like to see and do on First Government House Place outside the Museum of Sydney. Top of the list are seats, plants and games – a public place in which to relax within the busy city. So we have created a space where people can chill out, use our free Wi-Fi, read a book, catch up with a friend and enjoy a game of chess. Keep checking back to find out about some of the activities happening in the space.

Museum of Sydney

In the early 1980s there was a plan to build an office tower on the corner of Phillip and Bridge streets, where the Museum of Sydney now stands. At the time of the plan for development, the corner block was a carpark, and before that it had been a temporary headquarters of the public works department. Before that, it was a carter’s yard. In 1899 it looked like this:

Photo from State Records NSW

Photo from State Records NSW

Today, the same street corner looks like this:

Photo: Ronald Woan, on Flickr:

Photo: Ronald Woan, on Flickr:

Yet for many decades this street corner was a conspicuous gap among the grand sandstone buildings of Bridge Street. These grand buildings, like the Department of Lands building and the Chief Secretaries building, have facades decorated with explorers and muses, characters who have watched over the street since the 1870s. Continue reading →