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.
We also kept busy in regional Victoria this winter, 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's on our sweet future? Here's the plan...
The first Sugar Republic sweet experience in 2 years is ready to open at The Rocks. This has sadly been postponed due to the Sydney lockdown and will open as soon as restrictions lift. Get excited because it's going to be huge, with two levels of colourful candy-filled installations and very cool artist collaborations.
We'll be coming to Adelaide for the first time with the classic Sugar Republic experience and some new features. Border restrictions have prevented us from getting this event open as soon as we'd like but we're ready for when things re-open. Stay tuned for dates.
We've created a brand new pop-up for Melbourne and have started work on it. Unfortunately we can't announce an open date yet, due to ongoing lockdowns, but we can tell you that it's going to be amazing!
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