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Draw the House

With Matt Chun and Antonia Pesenti

The Sketchbook Tour

Join like-minded creative souls to explore the Opera House through an artist’s eyes in our free monthly walking and drawing tours.

Meet at Stage Door | Sydney Opera House Presents | Tour

"Drawing is a way of coming upon the connection between things; just like metaphor in poetry reconnects what has become separated."
John Berger - Art Crtic, Novelist, Painter & Poet

Slow down, observe...

Create a range of drawings inspired by one of the world's most iconic buildings.

Once a month join like-minded creative souls to explore the Opera House and its surroundings through the eyes of an artist. Working with a different artist each month, explore various drawing techniques, and perspectives inspired by one of the world's most iconic buildings. 

You will also learn from an expert Tour Guide about the influence of visual arts in the Opera House history, including the beautiful tapestries that grace our venues and foyer spaces. 

Drawing is practical as an architectural and engineering blueprint, but it is also a tool for creative expression and making meaning, visually documenting what we see or imagine on paper, for others to view, interpret and enjoy.

From the very beginning, drawings have played a significant role in the Opera House’s history – a global architectural competition saw entries from all over the world, where a relatively unknown Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, became the winner of a new National Opera House for Sydney. Utzon’s original and somewhat controversial design was an imaginative sculptural response that the judges were convinced would be ‘capable of becoming one of the great buildings of the world’. 

Meet the Artists...

Matt Chun (January and February)

Matt Chun is an artist and writer based on Yuin land in the settler colonial state of Australia. His work spans drawing, portraiture, essays, comics and picture books. Between 2020-21, Matt was Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria, concerned with the settler-colonial hegemony of Australian children’s literature. He has previously created work for Art Monthly Australasia, Overland Literary Journal, Meanjin Quarterly, Runway Journal, Liminal Magazine and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. He is also co-creator, alongside contemporary artist James Tylor, of the Australian history project Un Monumental. Matt is the author of picture books Australian Birds (2018), Australian Sea Life (2019), Australian Mammals (2020) and Australian Animals (2021). He is also co-creator of Day Break (2021) alongside Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist Amy McQuire. He is currently producing a body of commissioned artwork for a new permanent gallery at National Museum Australia.

Matt Chun headshot

Meet the Artists...

Antonia Pesenti (March and April)

Antonia Pesenti is a French-Australian architect and illustrator. After graduating from Architecture at Sydney University, Antonia relocated to Paris, where she lived for 8 years, working for Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Agence Philippe Starck. In her spare time, Antonia sketched and drew Paris, developing a passion for illustration and picture books. Today Antonia combines directing the cross-disciplinary design practice Studio Fable with illustrating/designing and making books - exploring all formats from experimental zines through to picture books. Her bestselling books include collaborations with playwright Hilary Bell, Alphabetical Sydney, Numerical Street and Summer Time, as well as the award-winning Rhyme Cordial, published internationally by Phaidon.

Antonia Pesenti headshot

Venue Information

The Centre for Creativity will adhere to a maximum capacity of 1 person per two square metres, in line with the current NSW Public Health Order. 

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Tours

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

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This Christmas,
help open your Opera House to all.

Every $25 gift enables a financially disadvantaged student or a young person with disability to have their own Opera House experience.
Together, we can make sure your Opera House is a place for everyone in our community, despite their circumstances.
We can't do it without you. The Opera House is not-for-profit. We raise all funds for our community programs ourselves. Please, make your gift today.