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Help us to create a new public artwork for our 50th anniversary

An important part of marking our 50th anniversary is a large outdoor artwork by Quandamooka artist Megan Cope. We need your help to bring this exciting project to life. Join a series of free hands-on workshops helping transform shell waste into an iconic, monumental artwork. We need 200 000 shells to complete the artwork. Stay as long or as little as you like.

Workshop Information

As Megan says, “This project is for everyone. Cleaning the shells is an important part of the work and a wonderful way for people to connect". All cleaning materials (and shells) will be provided but we’re asking people to bring rubber gloves if you can, to save on waste. Every workshop is free and you can drop in anytime.

Pop-up workshops - Sydney Opera House

Help us create a new public artwork on the Opera House Forecourt (eastern side of the Monumental Steps). Join us Friday 2 June - Sunday 4 June between 10am - 3pm.

Underneath the Monumental Steps
Bennelong Point
Sydney NSW 2000

Recurring Workshops - Marrickville

You can also attend the recurring weekend workshops at Addison Road Community Organisation. Join us every weekend in May and June between 10am - 3pm.

Drill Hall Building 8
142 Addison Rd
Marrickville NSW 2204

Location map

Download location map (PDF)

Oyster workshop explainer

About the Project

Drawing inspiration from Tubowgule as a historic place of ceremony, gathering and celebration in Aboriginal Australia, Quandamooka artist Megan Cope will transform the Sydney Opera House with First Nations storytelling. 

In October 2023, to mark the occasion of the Sydney Opera House’s 50th anniversary, Cope will install a new work that honours Tubowgule’s pre-settlement history while considering the environment’s fragility. 

More information will be released closer to the date. 

Commissioned by Sydney Opera House with the support of the NSW Government through the Blockbusters Funding Initiative.

Meet the artist

Megan Cope

Megan Cope is a Quandamooka Artist. Her site-specific sculptural installations, video work, paintings and public art investigate issues relating to colonial histories, the environment and mapping practices.

In 2022 her work was featured in We, On The Rising Wave, Busan Biennale, South Korea, Reclaim the Earth, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France,  Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art, Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane as well as The NGV Triennial (2020), Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres at the Art Gallery of South Australia, The TarraWarra Biennial (2021): Slow Moving Waters, The National, Art Gallery of NSW (2017), and Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial (2017). In 2017-19 Cope was the Official Australian War Artist.

Her work is held in Australian and International collections. She is a member of Aboriginal art collective proppaNOW and is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane.



Sign up for more information

Join Megan in a series of hands-on volunteer workshops, helping transform shell waste into this iconic artwork. Expect inspiring conversations about where our waste goes, culture, fishing practices, art, ideas and celebrating Country. Drop into any session or register below to be updated by Megan directly on the project's development.

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If you want to find out more, please email

Be a part of contemporary art at the Opera House

Contemporary art is at the heart of the Opera House, and has been since our 1973 opening. Each year, our donors help to commission new, exciting art projects at the Opera House, like the ones featured on this page. Get involved now. Contact our Philanthropy team on 02 9250 7077 or