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Monday, July 11, 2011

The Rocks Popup Project | The Rocks, Circular Quay

Festival Girl Rates: 7/10

Last week, I decided to check out the The Rocks Pop-Up Project nestled in Sydney’s historic precinct at The Rocks, Circular Quay. The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority in partnership with Arts NSW has launched the project to try to raise the artistic profile of The Rocks. 

So how does it work? The project essentially makes use of four unused heritage buildings on George Street and turns them into studios, galleries, pop-up shops and event spaces for budding artists, sculptors, fashion designers, jewellery makers and writers to take up temporary residence and explore their passions.

The idea is to give these artisans a chance to showcase their creative pieces, experiment with their designs, grow as business owner-operators and sell their work. Not only did I see some intriguing artistic pieces, I also met a few lovely ladies whilst investigating The Rocks Pop-Up project.

Rocks Pop-Up Project locations:

47 George Street
The old Westpac building on 47 George Street, will be abuzz with bespoke designers and jewellers like Nikki Stevens, Mae and Pearl, Magdalena Duma, Chelle Dickens and more. Independent creative group, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) will take a creative approach to enliven the walls of the pop up space by projecting sound and screen loops that will profile personal stories and expressions, digital stories, clips and animations created by some of Sydney’s diverse artists and young people from ICE’s programs.

Artists will feature AHW Studio by 123 for Arts, Chelle Dickens, Creatively Belle, ICE, Mae and Pearl, Nikki Stevens, Magdalena Duma, Ping Lian Yeak, Ruby and Crickette, Silk Diva and Wendy Murray.

77 George Street, basement
The Red Room Company - The Red Room Company will reinvent the basement at 77 George Street as an Australian poetry clubhouse with live events, exhibitions, intimate readings, unplugged music, poet and artist residencies and an outlet for emerging writers’ zines.

77½ George Street
Son of a Master Tailor - At 77½ George Street Son of a Master Tailor will set up shop. Following in the footsteps of his father, Italian-Australian tailor Adamo, Marco Marone will measure, cut, stitch and fit quality handmade menswear in a sophistication he says sits somewhere between business and casual.

85 George Street
With artists including Geoff Farquhar-Still, Tim Andrew and Sean O’Connell, 85 George Street will be transformed into a unique gallery by creative community Gaffa. Gaffa will plug in six month-long exhibitions featuring young Australian artists selected as much for their arresting work as their ability to shake up preconceptions about what art is. Look out for opening nights, special performances and artist talks!

The front window decorated for the project - ooh, lovely lace

You will find on the bottom floor of the building is the coffee house and also the temporary home of some Pop-up works. Make your way up the stairs, and you'll find an entire area to explore. 

The work space of Ruby and Crickette. Where dreams are born.

Peacock feathers - oh so beautiful

The Sydney Story Factory project encourages story writing for children 7 - 17 years old specifically targeting those from disadvantaged backgrounds particularly those from Indigenous and migrant families.

Here is the delightful Debbie from Ruby and Crickette showing us how she constructs her millinery designs.

The Project Manager of the Pop-Up Markets decides to model one of Debbie's unique designs. Beautiful! You should take that one!

The inspiring works of Ping Lian Yeak, who I have featured before

Here is my favourite, the rooster! 

The lovely Belinda from Creatively Belle, gave me a personal tour of the facilities and introduced me to a number of the stall holders

Beautiful jewellery by Creatively Belle

Beautiful dresses and Japanese Kimono's by the Silk Diva

AHW Creations is inspired by the stylings of 'Steampunk' and incorporates recycled watch findings into unique and wearable jewellery pieces

Look at these beautiful brooches

Watch-face rings

How delightful are these cuff-links? This will delight the heart of any geek boy

Curly Music Box offers music boxes with a twist, handmade vintage fabrics and recycled mounting papers makes these cuties oh so original

Ooh leopard print

Perfect for hot summer days

The wonderful world of Ruby and Crickette. I love the twisted tree in the fairyland landscape.

Some adorable accessories including bag holders, earrings, umbrellas, aprons...

...lunch bags, colourful clutches...

...Flower rings that are all range

How cute are these butterfly headbands? 

I love the moss-green grass and delightful fairyland creatures

If only I could this many clutches? What? Give me one good reason why I don't need 16 clutches in super cute fabrics?

Sequin birdies and peacock headbands

Now these are truly inspiring? What a unique gift for the book lover?

This kind of project really touches my heart. It gives smaller businesses the opportunity to play and show Sydney what they love to do. This is a place where discussion is encouraged; if you have questions about how and why pieces were made, you can just ask the designers. It's really a place that aims to inspire and share the passions of these talented artisans. Best thing is, the markets will be changing with new stallholders and artists, so you can keep visiting a place that is ever changing. If you love things that creative and all heart, the Pop-Up Markets are the place for you. 

What: The Rocks Pop-Up Project
Where: 47, 77, 77½ and 85 George Street, The Rocks
When: For six months from 18 May 2011
Wednesday to Friday 11am - 7pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am - 7pm

For more information go to The Rocks Pop-Up Project site at

Hope to see you there,

xox Festival Girl



  1. Thanks so much for such a great story - just love your photos!

    So glad you enjoyed your time with us, we certainly enjoyed you exploring and catching up with you.

    Do come down for the Aroma Festival on Sunday 31st July and say hello. There'll be great Toby Coffee at the Pop Up Cafe too. :)

    I hope you can come along to the Social Media for Small Business series and the Moving Upwards events as they're all about sharing information and skills:

    Do come again and be sure to have a chat. :)

  2. Thank you Festival Girl - YOU are an inspiration.
    Come down anytime!

  3. Sarah Lee ( Ping Lian's mon)July 14, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Thank you Festival Girl.
    I and Ping Lian will love to meet you.

  4. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. You are all so sweet. I will hopefully popping down again next week, so I hope to see you there.


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