What if there was a party, and everyone came? They’ll be dancing, dancing in the street!
Sydney May-June 2014 (11 photos). This is part 7 of my Vivid Sydney Series.
1.43 million people, according to official estimates, visited the 6th Vivid Light Festival of Sydney in 2014 over 18 nights. Approximately 19,500 international visitors came across on Vivid Sydney travel packages.
That is an increase of 79% compared to the estimated 800,000 visitors in 2013. Only 500,000 people visited in 2012. Before 2012, the event didn’t rate on my radar. Vivid Sydney is now the largest light festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. This year Vivid Sydney was made up of more than 200 events and 6 entertainment precincts. It featured 50 free light installations and projections, 80 Vivid Music shows, and 300 speakers at 180 creative industry events. Each night the lights operated from 6pm to midnight. Obviously I’ve shown you only a small portion of the total package.
On the weekends, they closed several inner city roads to vehicles, including the main road, George Street which leads between Martin Place in the previous post and the main entertainment hub at the Rocks and Circular Quay. For some reason unknown to me, people feel the need to sit on closed roads and take selfies; at least they did it on a side road.
After taking the walk along George Street, I took some time to stop and see most of the smaller and more intimate light installations and exhibits, some in full public view, others hidden away in courtyards, corridors, stairwells or even indoors. The free map came in very handy. Here’s a few of them:
Heaven’s Cloth. The poet W.B. Yeats once described the universe’s vast skies as “the heavens’ embroidered cloths”. Taking its title from Yeats’ vision, Heaven’s Cloth creates a canopy of light, colour and sound – an awning of illuminated dreams. Contracted from translucent rings the light is refracted to sparkle above the visitor.
Above & below: Terra Incognita presents several cycles of lighting sequences based on the glorious displays of light and colour that Mawson witnessed in Antarctica. A voice-over reads excerpts from Mawson’s diaries; sound effects evoke the harshness of this beautiful but forbidding landscape. By standing at designated spots in the space, you create shadows, highlight details and provide focal points for the shifting light displays.
Made You Look is a kaleidoscope torn open. The reflective shell is made of 138 mirrored pieces, capable of 138 self-portraits at a time. Each shard is suspended in the air and a live video stream of the artwork’s surroundings is projected onto and through the artwork – watch yourself interacting with the installation as you walk through it.
Mystery of Creation. Flowers blossom, only to wilt; trees wither, only to grow anew. The wind whispers in the tree; its leaves embody alchemy in the transformation of living colour, from green into yellow and red; leaves dance and drop off in a storm; and once again you see a bare tree.
Graffiti Me is an interactive projection. Armed with the traditional tool of street art – the spray can – you become part of a collective street art mural image, as your likeness is captured in stencil-like form, and projected onto a wall. When you press the spray-can nozzle, a webcam is activated to take a picture of you; this captured image is then projected onto the wall surface, and every night, all webcam-photographed images are collated and turned into a time-lapse film that you can access via a website.
I came across my old friend the Intel Robot again. As we were right at the night markets section, we both stopped for some dinner. I had a pulled pork and coleslaw roll. I offered him a battery.
Magic Circle is a two-metre-square glowing version of the humble crochet granny square. The piece is crocheted by hand, using a large hook, 500m of cotton rope and 55m of LED rope light. The crocheted rope is entwined around the lights, masking the light source and forming internally illuminated coils. The coils glow and are linked decoratively together with more rope, using traditional crochet motifs. A magic circle is an important crochet beginner’s technique and forms the centre of the work. The core of the sculpture is left open as a viewing porthole.
Ultimately we end up at Circular Quay again. And here we stay. OK, you’ll have noticed the return of my black and white photography with this post. Yes, we’re near the end of this series. Two more to go.
My previous VIVID Festival of Sydney photography:
VIVID 2014: Random VIVIDness 2014 (6)
VIVID 2014: Random VIVIDness 2014 (5)
VIVID 2014: Random VIVIDness 2014 (4)
VIVID 2014: Random VIVIDness 2014 (3)
VIVID 2014: Random VIVIDness 2014 (2)
VIVID 2014: Random VIVIDness 2014 (1)
VIVID 2013: Lights. Camera. Action!
VIVID 2013: Random Scenes of VIVIDness
VIVID 2012: Light the Night