Hot on the heels of the bookish buzzy Sydney Writers’ Festival 2012 at Walsh Bay comes Vivid Sydney 2012, which opened last Friday 25 May on a clear crisp autumn night around the corner in Circular Quay. I seem to be having a mini love affair with Sydney this year – and it was looking particularly beautiful at Circular Quay last Friday night under a new moon.
My favourite projection lit the facades of the buildings around Circular Quay Station and the station itself, and was inspired by the six-season calendar of the First Nation peoples of the Sydney basin. It was made by 32 Hundred Lighting and video artist Mic Gruchy, with the support of botanist and environmental scientist Dr Francis Bodkin, who’s a climate expert and author of D’harawal Seasons and Climatic Cycles.
Called Sentinels of the Season, it flooded the buildings in colours associated with the six seasons:
- Time of Burrugin (May June) cold frosty short days
- Time of Wiritjiribin (July August) cold and windy
- Time of Ngoonungi (September October) cool getting warmer
- Time of Parra’dowee (November December) warm and wet
- Time of Burran (January February) hot and dry
- Time of Marrai’gang (March April) wet becoming cooler
The ever morphing projections on the Museum of Contemporary Art and the interactive work on its brand new Mordant Family Wing were also amazing.
In the midst of this frenzy of light and colour someone said the Vivid festival must cancel out Earth Hour. With its apparent burning of massive amounts of energy. But apparently Vivid is a ‘carbon neutral event‘, thanks to carbon offsets and low carbon lighting. And allegedly, by using minimal energy some of its installations and projections ‘encourage the public to think creatively about sustainable urban light solutions’.
Last but not least (well, maybe least this year), here’s the building I most look forward to seeing illuminated every year: the Opera House. Although on Vivid’s brilliant and crowded opening night I thought for once the Opera House was outshone.