If you're keeping a keen eye on the Sydney skate scene, you'll probably have noticed the recent appearance of skateable terrain in the Barangaroo area. Seemingly overnight, a customisable skatepark popped up at the underground enclave known as the Cutaway, south of Miller's Point, offering a ton of interesting objects to skate. Like most local skateboarders, we were intrigued.
After a little investigating, we discovered the rhyme and reason behind the instalment. The park is the work of BIG hART, an arts and social change organisation which has, for the past 25 years, shone a light on vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through various artistic endeavours. In this case, the skatepark acts as the centrepiece for their latest live show, aptly titled SKATE, which brings together skateboarders, musicians, and digital artists to develop a performance combining skateboarding, percussion and projection. All profits from the show will be used to fund projects in disadvantaged communities.
Along with hosting installations for the developing show, the park is also open to skate for free most Saturdays. We recently stopped by for an open skate session with three of BIG hART's performers: Ryder Lawson, Nixen Osborne and Aimee Massie, along with Adam Tabone, who tagged along for the ride. As the video and photos show, the park is set up creatively with a bunch of unique obstacles you won't find anywhere else in the city. Moveable flat bars, kickers, a picnic table and ledges compliment an array of interesting bank and hip objects, while the park's ever-evolving layout keeps things fresh over time.
The space also features a unique coloured lighting setup, which is put to great effect during performances, but also adds to the unique atmosphere of the open skate sessions. Being underground also means you can skate this thing in all weather conditions, which is definitely an added bonus in a city with very few undercover alternatives.
After a successful few months and a short break, the skatepark is set to re-open to the public this Saturday, May 18th, for an open skate session from 3pm – 7pm. Open skate sessions will run through July 6, alongside several 'Transitions' performances. For full dates and details, take a look at the official schedule. We recommend getting down to The Cutaway ASAP – the skatepark won't be there much longer!
Film & Edit: Tom Hackett
Additional Filming: Adam Scarf
Photos: Riely Walker