Sydney May – June 2017 (17 photos)
This is part 5 of my VIVID Sydney 2017 series of posts.
There were more than 70 different light installations for this year’s VIVID festival and many of the smaller ones were spread out away from the main location of the Sydney Opera House, creating an overall theme park kind of atmosphere. Following are a few of the smaller installations which I found interesting.
Urban Tree 2.0
Artists: Ample Projects
Urban Tree 2.0 transforms the sculptural form of the Commercial Travellers Association building in Martin Place into a giant luminous canvas for transient projections and animations that take viewers deep within an ecosystem. Rivers flow, plant life grows and each night a glowing frog succeeds in catching his dinner. This work gives viewers a unique glimpse of the interdependent creatures and habitats on our delicate and beautiful Earth.
Artists: Motti+Smith & Paper Moose
A magical display of rippling ghost-like scrims and ribbons recreating the majesty of our ‘Southern Lights’, the Aurora Australis.
Landscape of the Mind
Artists: Black Dog Institute & amigo and amigo
Landscape of the Mind is a sculpture that explores deeply personal experiences of anxiety — what it feels like and what helps — through body map drawings, charting experiences, emotions and physical sensations that may be difficult to express verbally. This enables individuals to express their personal experience of anxiety in a way that shows its debilitating effects without stigmatising the condition.
The body maps presented in Landscape of the Mind were drawn by participants in a research study conducted by Professor Katherine Boydell and her team at the Black Dog Institute, an organisation that studies, diagnoses, and helps to moderate mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
To build awareness and empathy for sufferers, curator Natalie Robinson facilitated the creation of a series of life-sized human forms and integrated the body maps by etching them into transparent acrylic panels; these are lit with different colours to highlight how anxiety can impact parts of the body.
She uses the body maps as a way of telling stories whose significance can only be understood in relation to the creator’s overall story and experience. In Landscape of the Mind each body map artwork can be viewed individually, but by looking through all the assembled transparent panels the viewer can see the layers of collective experience.
Under My Umbrella
Artists: Beam Collective
Under My Umbrella invites you to dream and dance under a glowing canopy as it sways gently in the wind. The canopy is made up of a mass of magical umbrellas that dim and glow as you dance beneath them. This whimsical installation also casts a sea of stars on the laneway below, enveloping dancers in light.
Tidal creates a narrative of sound and light that weaves above the city streets and captures the tides of change that have so relentlessly transformed the city.
The 3D installation draws on real-time tidal data and sampling audio to present scenarios that range from the hustle and bustle of Circular Quay, to the beauty and nature of Bradley’s Head; woven throughout are stories of the city’s landscape, history and architecture.
Artists: The Buchan Group
Portholes captures the viewing experience of explorers as they peer through the windows of their ‘capsule’, to marvel at the furthest reaches of the Earth – and beyond…
Artist: Benjamin Jay Shand
Parallax is inspired by the qualities of stalactites cladding the upper limits of a cave ceiling. As light elements hang from the canopy above, a very slight horizontal movement complements the strong vertical elements of the sculpture. Each ‘stalactite’ also glows with an illuminated pulse.
A void at the centre of the sculpture contributes to its dynamism by creating opportunities for an immersive, human-scale experience: participants interact with the sculpture as programs shift to modulate luminosity in line with audience engagement and interaction and to limit output when pedestrian traffic slows.
Crystallise is a sprawling, lighting-mural landscape, comprising multicoloured triangles and diamonds.
At first glance, the installation appears to be a mosaic, although randomly generated colours and patterns gradually allow viewers to see different forms within its surface. As participants come into close proximity with the mural, sections of the canvas fade, leaving behind only a pair of wings.
This artwork is inspired by the works of LA street artist Colette Miller.
Artists: Indermühle + Indermühle
Light Waves is an electrifying curtain of brilliantly-coloured light that illuminates the harbour on cold winter nights. The rich vibrancy of light reminds us of the ever-present life that exists on, around and under Sydney Harbour. The lights lie partially submerged in the moving water and appear to dance on the waves.
This is Part 5 of my VIVID Sydney 2017 series.
All of my photography from this series and previous years of VIVID Sydney going back to 2012 can be found here:
VIVID Sydney page