Esem Projects create innovative public art & interpretation platforms defined by their strong creative execution, community engagement and connection to place. 

 

what we offer 

DESIGN &
BRANDING

We offer visual communication & design services across print design & production, logo & identity work, creative direction, mural design
and more.
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PUBLIC Art & installations

We create public art platforms & installations with strong connections to place and history. Our work spans large-scale digital projections, print murals and bespoke objects.  
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STRATEGY &
STORYTELLING

We deliver bespoke strategy & storytelling platforms, 
from curatorial to digital strategy. Our intensive research-led approach delivers unique outcomes & experiences.  
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News & Recent Project Launches 

Esem Projects presents a new public art installation entitled Arrivals and Departures during the October Barangaroo Welcome Celebration at Barangaroo Reserve.

The work, commissioned by Gill Minnervini and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA), launched on 4 October 2015 and will be on show every weekend during October inside the Cutaway. It brings to life the social history of the site that was once the heart of Sydney’s docklands - telling the many stories of growing up in the area, as well as how many of Australia’s immigrants landed here.

The project is part of a three-month Welcome Celebration developed by BDA on behalf of the NSW Government to mark the opening of Barangaroo Reserve. Esem Projects’ temporary art installation is the second installation in the Cutaway, the massive cultural space built within the headland park.

Visitors are invited to engage with the work, which comprises of large-scale projections and a series of brightly coloured shipping containers creating a roomful of mini-galleries, each telling a different compelling and entertaining storyabout the various chapters of Sydney’s maritime history and aspects of the working wharves from Depression era lines of hungry workers to the farewelling of soldiers during the Second World War.

Esem Projects’ Dr Sarah Barns, a historian and artist, said: “The concept looks at the working maritime history of the area from the late 1800s onwards, and the role of Barangaroo as a place where arrivals and departures have taken place across a range of different domains of social life.

“We hope Arrivals and Departures will appeal to everyone who is curious about the history of the site and how it has shaped Sydney. There are stories of goods exports and imports, the waterfront workers and the role of labour history, trade history, the Hungry Mile, along with stories of migrant and immigrant arrivals,” she said.

The work features Esem Projects’ own original footage recreating some of the moments of departure, along with images and footage from the National Film and Sound Archive and State Library to tell touching stories such as the elderly couple who ran a business selling the streamers the crowds would throw in welcome as boatloads of people arrived into Sydney.

Another story sheds light on the woman who would stand dockside as soldiers set sail during the second world war, farewelling them in song with Now is the Hour, a tune popularised by Gracie Fields.

In addition to oral histories and interviews, Esem Projects has incorporated excerpts from a mockumentary by Rupert Kathner, one of Australia’s earliest known filmmakers who regularly filmed in the area during the 1930s, that looks at Customs officers’ fight against drugs and contains some particularly endearing pictures of children playing in the area.

The ‘Sea’ Celebration will continue during open weekends in October. To see the full event program and transport information, please visit here.

Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra

 

Esem Projects worked with architects Tanner Kibble Denton to design and deliver a series of audio-visual installations that interpreted the history of the Mt Stromlo Observatory, home to the ANU Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics (RSAA). The project was commissioned by ANU and included the partial restoration of the Mt Stromlo Director's Residence, destroyed by the 2003 Firestorm. 

 


Toss Gascoigne views one of the installations featuring his parents, Professor Ben Gascoigne and Rosalie Gascoigne, all former residents of the Mt Stromlo Community during the 1950s. It was at Stromlo that Rosalie developed her interest in the Australian landscape.  


The installation 'Wild Fire, Wild Life' featured original recordings of the Firestorm sourced from home video and the ABC, along with meditations on the impact of the destruction by Nobel Prize winner Professor Brian Schmidt, who we interviewed as part of the project. 


'Eyes on the Skies'. Audio-visual installation, Mt Stromlo Director's Residence, ANU, Canberra. 

Stromlo 'Eyes on the Skies' installation. Director's Residence, Mt Stromlo Observatory. The installation includes interviews with eminent scientists and rare archival footage of the Observatory in the 1920s. 


Stromlo 'Eyes on the Skies' installation. Director's Residence, Mt Stromlo Observatory. The installation includes interviews with eminent scientists and rare archival footage of the Observatory in the 1920s. 

Signage for the Mt Stromlo interpretation project, details for 'A Home on the Hill' an interior soundscape on the social history of the Director's Residence . 


Signage for the Mt Stromlo interpretation project, details for 'A Home on the Hill' an interior soundscape on the social history of the Director's Residence . 

Surry Hills Public Artworks & Projections

 

We worked with the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre and an assortment of local retailers and cafes to produce a series of storytelling-based projections on the history of Surry Hills. We delivered a complete rebrand of the Festival, a shiny new website, a series of archival-based video projections and a whole lot of fun for everyone!  

 
Projection outside the Surry Hills Library on Crown St featuring scenes of the street from the 1960s, as captured by Italian film maker Gian Carlo Manara for the ABC documentary 'Living on the Fringe'. 


Projection outside the Surry Hills Library on Crown St featuring scenes of the street from the 1960s, as captured by Italian film maker Gian Carlo Manara for the ABC documentary 'Living on the Fringe'. 

Justice & Police Museum 'mug shots' featured in a video installation at the Sly Cafe, once home to Sydney's notorious Queen of the Underworld, Kate Leigh. 


Justice & Police Museum 'mug shots' featured in a video installation at the Sly Cafe, once home to Sydney's notorious Queen of the Underworld, Kate Leigh. 

Laneway projection for our inaugural Crown St Projection Festival as part of the 2014 Surry Hills Festival. The video installation featured the controversial ABC documentary 'Living on the Fringe' - which the City of Sydney attempted to ban in the 1960s when first released!  


Laneway projection for our inaugural Crown
St Projection Festival as part of the 2014
Surry Hills Festival. The video installation featured the controversial ABC documentary 'Living on the Fringe' - which the City of Sydney attempted to ban in the 1960s when first released!  


Installation by photographer Andrew Cowan, featuring as part of the inaugural Crown St projection Festival at Paper2 on Crown. 

Check out more documentation here

Westfield Miranda 

 

We were commissioned by Westfield to create a series of video installations for the redeveloped Westfield at Miranda Shopping Centre, launched in September 2014. Our video pieces were created for a series of interior video columns and interior projections throughout the Centre. 

 

 


Excerpt from 4-column video column installation at the new Westfield Miranda Shopping Centre. We worked with collections from the local community, the State Library of NSW, the National Film and Sound Archive and the Sutherland Shire Library to create meditative artworks on the Shire through time. 


Images of the 'Shire through time feature in the video installations at Westfield Miranda.  


We accessed a wonderful collection of historical images for our work with Westfield and the Miranda community.