Sydney May-June 2016 (32 photos)
This is the final part of my 8 part Vivid Sydney 2016 series.
Each year, the Lighting of the Sails of the Sydney Opera House is the centrepiece of the Vivid festival. This year the show was entitled, Songlines.
Songlines was directed by the Head of Indigenous Programming at Sydney Opera House, Rhoda Roberts. It was co-curated by the Sydney Opera House and Destination NSW. The visual content and animation was created by Artists in Motion.
Celebrating First Nations’ spirituality and culture through the songlines of our land and sky, this year’s Lighting the Sails was about painting and celebrating country through a pattern of sharing systems, interconnected history lines and trade routes.
For the eighth year of Vivid, Sydney Opera House was transformed into an animated canvas of Australian indigenous art featuring iconic contemporary works from Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Reko Rennie, Donny Woolagoodja, and the late Gulumbu Yunupingu.
As the first indigenous work commissioned exclusively for the sails of the Sydney Opera House, this visual tapestry weaved through personal journeys, while celebrating the timeless themes and enduring art of Australia’s most influential contemporary First Nations artists, exclusive to Vivid Sydney.
It rained during Vivid this year.
Most people with the choice would stay at home on a cold Winter’s night especially when it is windy and rainy.
I’m not “most people”.
Instead, I grabbed the raincoat, camera and tripod and headed straight into Vivid.
I’ve been wanting it to rain during Vivid for a while. I was hopeful such a small added detail as rain would add another dimension to my photographs. I took the chance when it came and I’m very pleased with how the photographs came out.
The display on the Opera House changes reasonably rapidly, yet I had to choose a longer exposure time to get the trails of rain, without blurring the Opera House display.
50mm focal length. Aperture F7.1. Shutter Speed 1/20 second. ISO 12500. Taken at 10:21pm.
… details matter.
A few words of advice. If you’re photographing Vivid, bring a tripod. Each year I see so many people with cameras who don’t and then end up having to lean on a wall or rest their camera on a railing, or even lie on the ground, usually to minimal benefit. And a little knowledge about the interactions of the triad of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO will be a big help.
Artist: Karla Dickens (Wiradjuri people) was born in Sydney in 1967; the Year of the Referendum that gave Aboriginal people human status in Australia. A double dawn for Aboriginal people; a major national political and social shift, and an innocent newborn seemingly as yet without any connection to her history and Aboriginal heritage. Karla’s Aboriginality and sexuality profoundly inform her work – her insight and breadth of artistic practice both deeply embraces the notion of identity politics and yet works with universal human experiences.
Artist: Djon Mundine OAM (Bandjalung people) is a member of the Bandjalung people of northern New South Wales. Djon has an extended career as a curator, activist, writer, and occasional artist and is renown as the concept curator for the Aboriginal Memorial installation permanently exhibited at the National Gallery of Australia. Djon was awarded the Order of Australia in 1993 and is currently Indigenous Curator-Contemporary Art at the Campbelltown Art Centre.
Artist: Gabriella Possum (Nungurrayi people) was born in 1967 and she is the eldest daughter of the internationally renowned artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri who was awarded the Order of Australia in 2002. Gabriella is best known for her Seven Sisters paintings (see first photo of this post), with her iconic depiction of the Milky Way and she also paints Bush Tucker and Grandmother’s Country stories.
Artist: Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay/Gummaroi people) explores through his art what it means to be an urban Aboriginal in contemporary Australian society. Reko received no formal artistic training but as a teenager discovered graffiti which became an all-consuming passion. His art and installations continually explore issues of identity, race, law & justice, land rights, stolen generations and other issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in contemporary society.
Artist: Donny Woolagoodja (Worora people), Mowanjum Artists Spirit of the Wandjina Aboriginal Corporation (MASWAC) chairman, is the fourth eldest of ten children. His father, Sam, was the last of the Worora banmen (lawman and medicine man). Donny’s upbringing bridges the white Christian beliefs he became aware of at the mission churches and the ancient Wandjina laws his father taught him allowing him to move easily between his Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people.
Artist: Gulumbu Yunupingu (1954-2012, Gumatj people) painted Garak, the starry universe, on barks and poles. She came to national prominence when she won the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award (2004), and to international acclaim in 2006 with her scaled-up version of Garak on permanent display at Musee du Quai Branly (2006).
Artist: Artists In Motion is a Creative Project company that are highly regarded as pioneers of the industry. Known for their work around the world they produce all of their creations from their Sydney studio. Previous projects include content creation for the Beijing Olympics Ceremonies, Vancouver Winter Olympic Ceremonies, Hong Kong Pulse Shows, Alfa Bank Projection Moscow, 1st European Games Baku, the iconic UAE production “Clusters of Light”, as well as previous works for VIVID.
This is Part 8 of my 8 part VIVID Sydney 2016 series.
This year, I’ve presented 137 photos in 8 posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing it from wherever in the World you are.
All of my photography from this series and previous years of VIVID Sydney going back to 2012 can be found here:
VIVID Sydney page