Sugar Republic is Australia's first experience museum. It's an art-based interactive exhibition that invites visitors to relive the joy of childhood through immersive rooms and spaces. We created Sugar Republic especially for grown-ups but it is open to everyone; there is no age limit and we embrace and celebrate diversity.
The exhibition began life in 2018 when we came across an empty space at the old MacRobertson’s Chocolate Factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Bringing together a group of local artists and creative businesses, we filled the factory with larger-than-life installations celebrating iconic confectionery and sweet treats. For the first time, visitors could climb inside a giant gumball machine, cross a sherbet-filled rainbow bridge, swim in a bubblegum ball pit and dance in a confetti shower. With free lollies and ice cream. Much joy was created and the exhibition ran for eight weeks, selling out every session and creating a huge buzz in local and national media.
Since its launch Sugar Republic has toured the East Coast of Australia, activating in vacant retail spaces, car parks and warehouses and attracting a strong following for its unique blend of art gallery and themed attraction.
Each exhibition introduces new spaces; these have included a lifesize biscuit house, a honey bear living room, scented liquorice play room, bouncy gum bubble, 1980s milk bar, fairy floss swing, giant birthday cake, and many more wonder-filled installations.
We celebrate iconic Australian treats and we've been thrilled to collaborate with Darrell Lea, Arnott's, Allen's, Wizz Fizz and Streets as well as international brands like Hubba Bubba, Skittles and Jelly Belly.
We have a small in-house team that works full time on our installations; at each exhibition we also collaborate with local artists, employ local arts/events professionals and partner with like-minded businesses.
2019 saw the launch of Sugar Republic Christmasland in Melbourne, an OTT festive attraction unlike any before it, featuring a marshmallow pool, human snow globe, Tinseltown, pink forest and supersized toys to play with. And Santa himself, of course, who could be found hanging out in the ugly sweater room, spinning the 'wheel of naughty and nice' or driving his vintage red car through Snowville.
Sugar Republic took a break from exhibiting in 2020, however we kept busy during lockdown creating the Sweet Retreat, the world’s first sugar-themed BnB in Daylesford, Victoria. Our in-house artists also created community artworks including The Rainbow Walk in Melbourne's Campbell Arcade, to promote positivity and mindfulness during the pandemic.
Our 2021 'comeback show' The Museum of Love celebrated family, friendship and romance through joyful installations that included a Teddy Bear Tunnel O'Love, Confetti Shower, Moon & Stars, and a Rose Tinted Glasses room. This was held in our beautiful three-storey heritage building at The Rocks, in partnership with the City of Sydney and the NSW government.
And we've been busy in Ballarat creating new public artworks for Ballarat Heritage Festival, including a neon night tram, Gold in Our Veins shimmer wall and Memory Lane, a street of forgotten shop fronts in a city laneway.
What will the remainder of 2021 bring? Here's the lowdown...
A brand new Sugar Republic 2021 experience opens at the Rocks on 26 June.
We'll be coming to Adelaide for the first time in July with the classic Sugar Republic experience and some new features.
Lucky Brisbanites will be the first to visit our brand new Selfie Lab pop-up, opening 24 June at Westfield Chermside.
Get excited Melbourne, we're planning to bring the all-new Sugar Republic to the CBD from September.
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