“Rollercoaster” doesn’t even begin to describe what Carriageworks has been going through over the last few months. Back in May, the multidisciplinary arts centre – one of the largest in the country – was being read its last rites. Placed into voluntary administration, its (seemingly) impending collapse felt like the canary in the coalmine for the local arts industry.

A week later, there was chatter about the Opera House stepping in to save the institution, but nothing came from those discussions. Finally, last week, some good news: a group of philanthropic organisations and donors had banded together to save it.

It’s now been announced that Carriageworks will open to the public on August 7, and, starting Saturday August 8, it will reopen its popular weekly farmers market.

Visitors will have free access to a range of visual art exhibitions, including eight new installations that were commissioned for the 22nd Sydney Biennale (which kicked off in March before being shut down due to Covid-19). Hand sanitizer will be provided and physical distancing will be encouraged.

You’ll also be able to see installations by leading Australian artists, including Reko Rennie’s Remember Me (which launched earlier this year) and Giselle Stanborough’s Cinopticon (which uses searchlights, huge wall diagrams and mirrored digital surfaces to reflect the performative experience of social media).

“The future of Carriageworks has been secured thanks to extraordinary support from a group of donors and commitment to providing a long-term precinct lease from the NSW Government,” said CEO Blair French in a press release. “The impact of our closure has been felt across a wide range of communities. We are now excited to welcome the public back to Carriageworks.”

Carriageworks reopens on August 7.