10 not-to-be-missed light installations at Vivid Sydney 202214 Jun 2022
Vivid Sydney is a visual and sonic extravaganza – and with the 2022 festival offering the longest Light Walk in the history of the event, stretching from Sydney Opera House to Central Station, there are more artworks to admire than ever before. Don’t miss 10 of the most Instagrammable and unforgettable works when exploring the soul of the city.
1. Yarrkalpa - Hunting Ground, 2021 by the Martu Artists and Curiious
Soundtrack by Electric Fields and Martu Artists
Where: Sydney Opera House
One of the most photographed buildings in Sydney gets a colourful makeover every year at Vivid Sydney. This year Sydney-based agency Curiious has brought to life the stunning Martu Artists painting Yarrkalpa - Always Walking 2024 , across the spectacular Sydney Opera House Sails. This striking painting portrays First Nations connection to Country through incredible visual storytelling.
Get the shot: The Sydney Opera House is best seen from the western side of the harbour on the walkway beside the Overseas Passenger Terminal or frame up your shot from up high on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon.
2. Convergence by Mandylights
Where: The Goods Line Tunnel
Ever wanted to explore an abandoned tunnel? This year’s Vivid Sydney reawakens a secret disused railway tunnel with the largest scale laser installation in the festival’s history in Convergence. The mesmerising space features more than 100 custom-made lasers, producing infinite bouncing rays of light that constantly change as beams are caught in clouds of drifting haze. This psychedelic experience of colour, laser and smoke illuminating the blackened walls of the old railway tunnel makes quite the Instagram backdrop.
Get the shot: Immerse yourself in the smoke and light and play with the colour and shadow deep in the tunnel.
3. For Sydney With Love by Ken Done & Spinifex
Where: Customs House
With heritage-listed Customs House as the canvas for this vibrant projection, watch colourful paintings of Sydney Harbour burst to life in a joyful and vibrant animation at this year’s Vivid Sydney festival. Sydney artist Ken Done is one of Australia’s best-known artists, famous for his paintings of Sydney Harbour, from boats sailing across the water to gardens, beach scenes and the city's most famous sights. This dazzling display of colour is a true love letter to Sydney – get a snap of Done’s iconic pictures, just steps away from the icons themselves.
Get the shot: On the ground at Customs House, or if you’re catching the train, you’ll get a nice view from platform one at Circular Quay station.
4. Sydney Infinity by Oracle Liquid
Where: Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour
Get set for the largest water fountain light show in Australian history. Gather by the Harbour’s edge to see hundreds of multi-textured jets and nozzles fan water into shifting shapes and expressive fountains, all set to two soundtracks that delve into the soul of Sydney by Peewee Ferris. An eye-popping sight the whole family will love, the infinity-shaped floating installation comprises over 250 metres of robotic fountains that can throw nine tonnes of water in the air in one second. When simultaneously lit by thousands of powerful LEDs, suddenly you have a fantastic dance of liquid and light that is sure to gather likes on the ‘Gram.
Get the shot: Reserve a window seat in one of Darling Harbour’s many great waterfront restaurants to get dinner with a show.
5. Ephemeral Oceanic by Atelier Sisu
Where: Walsh Bay Pier 1 & 2
Step onto a floating boardwalk that weaves between 150 larger-than-life illuminated spheres and experience the pure joy of effervescence. It's as if Walsh Bay has been transformed into a giant bubble bath. Lit from within, the iridescent orbs change colour throughout the night. Choreographed to a unique soundscape, they illuminate the surface of the water creating an unmissable dance of light, making a magical and surreal experience to share on your Instagram feed.
Get the shot: Feel like you’re walking on water as you cross the floating bubble boardwalk and get a snap in between the shiny colourful spheres.
6. Chronoharp by Amigo & Amigo
Chronoharp is completely enchanting — a giant harp-like structure that lights up in a rainbow of colours as you ’play’ it. Its size means multiple players are able to create a spectacular light and sound show together — experiment by walking through the sculpture to play different notes. Passersby will unite momentarily in this mesmerising experience.
Get the shot: Due to its scale and geometric shape, it’s hard to take a bad snap. Play around with positions — from below, to the side or try to capture the whole thing to remember it in its full glory. And turn on your video to show off your own personal tune.
7. Vivid Reflections by The Electric Canvas
Where: Western forecourt of Central Station
This interactive projection uses motion capture technology to turn your movements into animated action, then beams them onto the landmark clock tower at Central Station. You’ll be transported, in fantastic and unexpected ways, to the places that make Sydney unique, from Bondi Beach to diverse cultural icons. Be mesmerised as this iconic building is lit up in cartoon-like technicolour scenes, starring you!
Get the shot: Get your friend to stand across the road within the forecourt to capture the whole building as your projection is beamed on it.
8. Frankly, My Dear… by Sinclair Park
Where: UTS Business School (Dr Chau Chak Wing Building), Ultimo Road, Ultimo
See the Frank Gehry-designed UTS Business School in a whole new light. By illuminating its windows with colour-changing cove lights and wall grazers, Sinclair accents the crumpled-looking exposed brick form with jewel bright hues. Seen from the Goods Line, Frank Gehry’s unmistakable ‘paper bag’ aesthetic suddenly looks as enticing as a bag of mixed lollies. It adds a playful touch to the unmistakable building and is a fantastic interaction between art and architecture.
Get the shot: Walk along The Goods Line to get a clear, unobstructed view of the top of the building – a great one for your Instagram stories.
9. Endless Love by Michaela Gleave
Where: Circular Quay
Simultaneously intimate and universal, this superscale installation above Circular Quay Station evokes the hopes, dreams and aspirations the city inspires. Marvel at the giant letters with the city skyline as its backdrop and captures the joy and boundless optimism that makes Sydney one of the truly great global cities.
Get the shot: For an interesting angle, capture the shot from the back of a ferry, or from the front of the Museum Contemporary Art Australia.
10. Temple by Leila Jeffreys and Melvin J. Montalban
Where: Circular Quay
Sydney is known for it’s incredibly beautiful natural environment and abundance of wildlife, and artist Leila Jeffreys has highlighted how lucky we are to be surrounded by stunning birds. Her beautiful projection work features sulphur-crested cockatoos, black cockatoos and galahs in hyperreal detail, flapping their wings and shaking off water in slow motion. Highlighting the incredible beauty and magnificent colours of these special birds — it's a mediative moment of stillness amongst the bright, vibrant Light Walk.
Get the shot: With a black background, these videos look great captured on your phone — there is plenty of room to film in the Jessie Street Gardens, where the work is located.