Bourke Street Bakery Surry Hills. Credit: James Horan; Destination NSW
Surry Hills Arts and Culture
Arts and culture in Surry Hills
Rich in arts and culture, Surry Hills is a thriving hub of offbeat galleries and ethical design studios – while also being home to theatres, the famous Brett Whiteley Studio and long-running Actors Centre. The Surry Hills monthly market is also a great way to explore the wares and enjoy a great day out.
Acting, art and design
Home to galleries, theatres and performance spaces, there’s plenty of arts and culture to experience in Surry Hills. Discover everything from painting and photography to contemporary and performance art, to the drama, dance and live music of the local theatres and performance spaces.
This neighbourhood is well known for its galleries and there’s a diverse range of styles and media, whether you’re looking to buy or just browse. The Ann Snell Gallery on Albion Street has a fantastic Australian art collection and specialises in Aboriginal art, while the nearby Badger and Fox Gallery draws together a variety of artistic styles spanning from the 17th century to the modern day. Collections are ever-evolving at Bourke Street's striking, light-filled Object Australian Centre for Design and Craft, known for championing young designers through their exhibitions of cutting edge art and design pieces. The Hughes Gallery on Devonshire Street, has been running since 1969 and showcases Australian, New Zealand and Chinese contemporary artists.
Just off the commercial hub of Crown Street you’ll find the Brett Whiteley Studio, run by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Formerly home to one of Australia’s most notable contemporary painters, the cavernous warehouse space includes a gallery displaying exhibitions of the artist’s vast collection of works, as well as a gift shop. There is also a studio space upstairs where Whiteley lived until his death in 1992, filled with unfinished paintings, art equipment, furniture and personal items.
The historic Belvoir Street Theatre is one of Australia’s most respected and well-known theatre companies, with the likes of Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, David Wenham and Judy Davis all having performed here. Belvoir has been staging shows for over thirty years, engaging prominent and promising playwrights, actors and directors to put together a challenging annual artistic program.