Five questions with Sydney Open Ambassador Lisa Havilah
1. Describe your relationship with architecture?
I am very lucky to work every day at Carriageworks: one Australia’s most important industrial heritage buildings. Carriageworks was formerly known as the Eveleigh Railway Workshops where thousands of artisans created train carriages every day and the architecture has been the home of the creative industries for over a hundred year’s. Tonkin Zulaikha Greer’s adaptive reuse of the building in 2006 brilliantly embraced the building’s mammoth history while providing it with a transformative, contemporary future. Carriageworks enables artists to present ambitious large-scale interventions and immersive contemporary experiences allowing our space to be constantly re-imagined.
2. What is your favourite building in the world and why?
I have recently been in Venice for the Venice Biennale and have loved revisting John Denton’s Australian Pavilion and seeing Tracey Moffatt’s extraordinary new work in My Horizon. His majestic and architectonic white box inside a black box supports the presentation of contemporary art and sits like a canvas alongside the Venetian landscape.
3. As an ambassador for Sydney Open 2017 what is your best advice to people wanting to explore the program?
For the first time, Sydney Open provides audiences with unique insights into urban Sydney, its contemporary culture and architectural history. Redfern and Waterloo are diverse and complex locales and the redevelopment of the area will define the future face of Sydney. I recommended expanding the offering beyond sandstones to incorporate the industrial allure of red brick.
4. Why is an event like Sydney Open so important?
Buildings are part of our habitat and engage with ideas of public, private, open, closed, inside, outside. Revealing architectural spaces is vital to our social ecology and understanding the way we live.
5. Finish this sentence “What I love about Sydney is…”
Its creative, diverse, resilient, entrepreneurial communities.
Lisa Havilah is the Director of Carriageworks. Since 2012 she has implemented an ambitious contemporary multi-arts program that is unrelenting in its support of artists. Under her leadership Carriageworks has experienced extraordinary audience, artistic and commercial growth, resulting in it becoming the fastest growing cultural precinct in Australia. Previously, she was Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, where she pioneered an internationally renowned contemporary arts program that brought together culturally and socially diverse communities. She has been named one of Sydney's top 100 influential people.