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Local Artist Benja Harney Has Created a Delightful Paper Version of Sydney

The artwork that inspired all those banners around the Sydney CBD.
By Libby Curran
December 22, 2016
By Libby Curran
December 22, 2016

This year, Sydney Harbour's New Year's Eve extravaganza will be inspired by an artwork of a much smaller scale — a intricate paper creation by Surry Hills artist and paper engineer Benja Harney.

You'll have spied Harney's playful piece, which was commissioned by the City of Sydney, on NYE promo banners and public transport signage across town. Now, it's been revealed that the artwork also played a crucial role back in the planning stages, when creative agency Imagination were dreaming up the fireworks, projections, and light displays set to take over Sydney Harbour next week.


Crafted from thousands of pieces of handcut paper, Harney's multi-layered design is the culmination of over 600 hours of work and more than likely a fair few papercuts. Featuring over 75 individual pieces and depicting 20 different native species, it's a fun, papery homage to the artist's favourite city. The iconic crests of the Opera House are represented by a waratah, a thong stands in place of a city skyscraper, and sparkly paper explosions capture the magic of those NYE fireworks.

While the world will get to see it all come to life during next weekend's midnight spectacular, the vibrant work is also set to become a part of the City of Sydney's art collection.

Published on December 22, 2016 by Libby Curran

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