Vivid Sydney turns ten
Vivid Sydney celebrates 10 years of creativity with a huge program of light, music and ideas.
THE MUCH-LOVED VIVID SYDNEY festival turns 10 this month. Over the past decade it has grown to be the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. From 25 May to 16 June, Vivid Sydney will take over the city, spreading colour, light and joy. With new Vivid Light precincts, extraordinary superstars performing for Vivid Music and some of the world’s foremost creatives on stage for Vivid Ideas, this year’s program is truly out of this world.
The hallmark of Vivid Light each year is the Lighting of the Sails at the Sydney Opera House. This year Australian artist Jonathan Zawada has designed a spectacle called “Metamathemagical”. The artist has created various scenes that evolve and dissolve as objects are introduced, removed or undergo metamorphosis. Zawada says, “I really wanted to take a big picture view of both what Vivid is about, but more importantly, how I feel about Australia as this kind of elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy”.
The beautiful Royal Botanic Garden Sydney comes alive with light works inspired by nature. “Aqueous” by Jen Lewin is an interactive landscape of meandering pathways of light. Reflection and shifting colour and light react to audience participants as they run and walk along the pathway. “Parrot Party” by Zara Pasfield features a cheerful flock of brightly coloured birds perch on the staggered tiers of an open pavilion. They chatter, they tweet, chirp and sing, sending out a warm and inviting welcome.
This year Customs House will be lit up in celebration of two Australian icons who turn 100 this year, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. These two characters are the creation of Australian author May Gibbs, and are part of many Australian childhoods. Gibbs is one of Australia’s best loved classic childrens’ book illustrators and authors. Her love of the Australian bush was portrayed in her work, and “The Gumnut Babies”, May’s classic book about Australian bush fairies, was first published in 1916, followed by her most famous creations of all, “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie” in 1918.
“Virtual Vibration” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is a highly collaborative work produced by the Spinifex Group in conjunction with Australian artist Jonny Niesche and composer Mark Pritchard. The shifting sensory experience is accompanied by a beautiful soundscape.
“BALLPIT” at The Rocks transforms historic Cadmans Cottage into a virtual space where visitors swim, jump, push and dance through rooms filled with tens of thousands of virtual, responsive toy balls. Movements and interactions by visitors constantly change the performance of the balls—children will love this one!
Darling Harbour will be showered in light again with “Fantastic Oceans”. Created by Oracle Liquid, this art-meets-technology water fountain, light and laser experience celebrates an environment where bioluminescent creatures live deep beneath the ocean.
Luna Park is a Vivid Light precinct for the first time with large-scale projections on the façade of Coney Island, while the iconic Ferris Wheel will be all lit up.
VIVID LIGHT (Opposite page) "Metamathemagical", artist impression by Jonathan Zawada. (This page) "Aqueous" by artist Jen Lewin.