The inside story of Sydney’s “Progress Shark” that got the Rainbow City rolling

“The response from the community was very positive. We’ve had tourists who are in town for this event say how wonderful it is to be greeted by Progress Shark,” she said.

Starting this weekend, the shark is in contention for the title of Sydney WorldPride’s Leading Animal Statue, when the large recumbent gorilla outside Mosman’s Taronga Zoo also receives a rainbow makeover.

There will be 45 activations across the city.

There will be 45 activations across the city.


The King Nyani statue, the work of international public artists and conservationists Gillie and Marc, which has stood at the zoo’s entrance since last April, is adorned with a rainbow cape while disco balls hang from the surrounding trees.

The installations are among 45 projects commissioned as part of the WorldPride Rainbow City project, which has called on cultural centres, businesses and communities to create public rainbow artworks at prominent locations in Sydney.

On February 17, the sails of the Opera House will display a progress flag, while the Ferris wheel in Luna Park will also turn rainbow colors during the festival and the facade of Sydney’s Jewish Museum will feature rainbow illustrations by local artist Leo Greenfield.

A huge 10 story mural is being painted on a building in Darlinghurst.

A huge 10 story mural is being painted on a building in Darlinghurst.

Murals have been painted on the seawall at Bondi Beach and Manly Corso, while Parramatta’s Phive community center will host a light show and Katoomba’s Scenic Skyway will fly a rainbow flag.

“It’s a sign of how much things have changed since the first Mardi Gras in 1978 that companies,
Organizations and institutions across Sydney are coming together to spin the city’s rainbow for WorldPride,” said Kate Wickett, Festival CEO.

Rainbow City installations

  1. 45 Hearts – Paddington
  2. Bondi Beach sea mural
  3. Coogee Rainbow Staircase
  4. Streetscape of George Street
  5. ICONS – Broadway Shopping Center
  6. Living Color Flowers – Sydney CBD
  7. Love Street – Kensington Street, Chippendale
  8. Male mural
  9. Male Rainbow Sculpture
  10. PHIVE—Parramatta
  11. Proud Beacon – Newtown
  12. Pride Parkland – Bradfield City Centre
  13. Progress Shark – Australian Museum
  14. Rainbow Colonnade at EDDY (Eddy Avenue)
  15. Rainbow Ferris Wheel – Luna Park
  16. Rainbow Light Mural – Sydney University
  17. Rainbow Road Circular Quay
  18. Rainbow Tunnels in Sydney’s Inner West
  19. Rainbow Walk – Barangaroo
  20. Scenic Skyway Pride Flag – Blue Mountains
  21. Taylor Square Fountain
  22. The Chalice in the Royal Botanic Gardens
  23. Inner West Pride Pathway
  24. Building Proudly – Sydney CBD
  25. Queen Nyani – Taronga Zoo
  26. Taylor Square Mural – Kinselas
  27. Rainbow Hub – Lane Cove Plaza
  28. Cloak – UTS Central (Building 2)
  29. Embrace the Rainbow – Pacific Square, Maroubra
  30. AZ of Oxford Street – Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
  31. Wallumattagal Campus Pride Stride – Macquarie University
  32. The Dream Cube – Westfield Sydney
  33. Rainbow Archway – Wollongong Central
  34. Magic Portals – Sydney Olympic Park
  35. Rainbow Terminal – Sydney Airport
  36. Dear Pop – Tech Central
  37. Jewish Pride – Sydney Jewish Museum
  38. Bondi Bounce
  39. NIDA rainbow
  40. Marrickville Library Pride Poles
  41. Queer Walks – Parramatta Square
  42. Pride Pole – 9 Castlereagh St
  43. Hurstville Rainbow Crossing
  44. Still blooming mural by Dylan Mooney – Darlinghurst
  45. Sydney Opera House sails

Sydney WorldPride begins on Saturday and runs through March 5th. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras takes place on February 25th.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Login here. The inside story of Sydney’s “Progress Shark” that got the Rainbow City rolling

Callan Tansill

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