A city retail hub will become Vivid Sydney’s first indoor precinct when it makes its event debut this year, joining the buildings and spaces that already star in the annual festival of light, music and ideas.
Chatswood, Darling Harbour, Martin Place and the urban village of Central Park also are among the places that will shed their everyday identities as destinations for work, shopping and business to be transformed during the 23-night event, which had a record 1.7 million attendees last year.
“Regular buildings of the city all of a sudden become superheroes,” NSW premier Mike Baird said at the program launch today.
Shopping, lifestyle and cultural destination The Galeries will host Perspectives, an “immersive galaxy” of colour, light and movement created by video artists. Now in its eighth year, Vivid Sydney will be held between May 27 and June 18 – five nights longer than previous years. The Royal Botanic Garden is also new to the Vivid Sydney program. Celebrating the garden’s 200th birthday, The Garden of Light installation includes projections on the garden’s historical gates and a “cathedral of light” – a 60-metre long, eight-metre-high tunnel illuminated with LED lights numbering in the tens of thousands.
Trees and plants throughout the garden – even the giant figs – will display projections to create a magical world.
The Galeries lights up each night of the festival between 5.30pm and 11pm and will feature a massive LED screen “shattered” into fragments, according to Vivid Sydney creative director Ignatius Jones.
“Our challenge isn’t finding inspiration, it’s fitting it all in,” Jones said at the launch.
Martin Place will host the Geometrics light sculpture as well as Mountain of Light, a four-metre installation with effects that include water droplets to represent a live stream of global birthrate data.
In Chatswood, visitors can control high-tech dinosaur machines as part of WildLight – The Bio-Kinetic City, inspired by the creatures of Gondwana. Digital animations start from Chatswood Interchange and continue through to Westfield Chatswood.
Disruptive technology and “the rise of the robot” are the concepts behind the sound and light show at Central Park’s X-Factory installation. Projections on the facade of the heritage-listed Carlton United Brewery will explore technology and the changing workplace.
Songlines, an indigenous artwork featuring the work of six artists from around Australia, will transform the sails of the Sydney Opera House into an animated canvas curated by head of indigenous programming Rhoda Roberts.
Songlines will light up the sails of the Opera House. Photo: Supplied
Water screens, fountains, flame jets and lasers combine to create effects including giant dragons at Darling Harbour.
Across the water, The Nautilus and the Sea – an environmental undersea fantasy film shown at Chatswood as part of Vivid Sydney 2015 – will be projected on to the rooftop of the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Vivid Sydney favourite the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia will display the work of MCA artist Huseyin Sami and artistic collective Danny Rose in an installation titled THE MATTER OF PAINTING.
The building’s facade will be transformed into a huge canvas, where animation techniques give the appearance of carving, painting, cutting and brushing.
An artist’s impression of the Museum of Contemporary art installation for Vivid Sydney 2016. Image: Danny Rose
Vivid Sydney also includes the Vivid Live and Vivid Ideas programs, featuring contemporary music artists and global “game changers” from the technology, business, storytelling, design, architecture, visual arts and entertainment industries.