Sydney Festival's Four Thousand Fish

6-28 Jan 2018

World Premiere

Help to symbolically return four thousand fish to Sydney Harbour.

In 1790 British colonists hauled in an excessive four thousand fish in one day, disrupting the delicate ecosystem that the accomplished Aboriginal fisherwomen of Warrane (Sydney Harbour) had preserved for millennia, and undermining the women’s status as the main food providers for family and community.

Join us at this large scale art installation to celebrate fisherwoman Barangaroo, the influential and resilient Cammeraygal woman after whom the place is named. On 10 special days across the Festival, Four Thousand Fish invites you to visit Nawi Cove and create your own frozen fish using sea water and a cast mould.

Across each weekend of the Festival, you can help return the ice sculptures to an artist’s modern interpretation of a traditional nawi (bark canoe) with a fire lit inside, where the heat and the setting sun will slowly melt and return the frozen fish to the Harbour.

The nawi fire installation without the ice fish sculptures can be seen every day during the Festival between 7pm-10pm. However, to make the most of this experience and take part in the returning of the fish, we suggest scheduling your visit to coincide with sunset on a Saturday or Sunday or the 26 of January.


Access to the artwork on Nawi Cove is via a floating pontoon. Please be aware, at low tide the gangway accessing this pontoon will be at its steepest. Patrons with walking difficulties or those in wheelchairs who wish to take advantage of the easier access provided by high tide should consider scheduling their visit for the following dates and times:

  • Saturday 13 January 7pm
  • Sunday 14 January 8pm
  • Friday 26 January 4.30pm
  • Saturday 27 January 5.30pm
  • Sunday 28 January 6.30pm

At all other times staff will be available to assist visitors.

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