Hear from the professionals, where they started, from dreams in high school to their careers that have put them on the world stage.

Vivid School 2019: Monday Program


Aware Super Theatre
14 Darling Dr
2000 NSW

ICC Sydney
Vivid School 2019 Monday Session


Bonnie Forsyth

Bonnie Forsyth

Bonnie is a young director and 2D animator from Sydney, Australia. Her debut film, the AACTA nominated Femme Enfant screened both locally and internationally, garnering numerous awards. She has contributed to Vivid Sydney both as an animator and a director, working on the acclaimed Snugglepot and Cuddlepie for Customs House, Mystery Gateau for the ASNCo building and Taronga Zoo’s Be the Light for the Wild as well as numerous others.

Bonnie is interested in blending the boundaries between art and animation, and being a voice for women and Australian creative culture.

Jonathan Nix

Jonathan Nix

Jonathan Nix is an award-winning director, animator, designer, illustrator, composer, editor and push scooter rider. Jonathan began his artistic journey with a degree in Fine Arts from [insert details of university / art school. RMIT?] then went on to play in various bands for a decade before completing a postgraduate degree in Animation and Interactive Media at RMIT. He has worked within the animation industry ever since, most recently shifting his focus towards app and game design.

Michael Hassett

Michael Hassett

Michael is the founder, CEO and managing director of Technical Direction Company. With over 35 years in the industry, Michael is a visionary who is regarded as one of the most respected and experienced technical experts in his field in Australia. He has an in-depth interest in all forms of projection and consequently TDC is regarded as the projection specialist in the Asia Pacific region. His hands-on approach sees him extend the capabilities of new technologies to build systems and design complex solutions, while offering insights and creative context. Michael is regularly invited to lecture for industry bodies and consults in system design on many complex projects. Michael has also attained Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) certification credentials from Infocomm International and regularly consults on special projects all over the world.

Zara Pasfield

Zara Pasfield

Owner and founder of Pineapple Design Studio, Zara is a spatial designer who has a passion for light, sculpture and set design. Since completing a degree in Spatial Architecture in 2017 from UTS, she has, in a short time, featured in preeminent light festivals around the world. Her spatial knowledge enables her to create works that transform and complement public and commercial spaces. Zara strives to produce work that is both elegant and playful in nature, which captures the imagination of audiences.

Tim Hurricane Bestman

Tim Hurricane Bestman

Artist and industrial designer Tim 'Hurricane' Bestman fulfilled childhood dreams with his first paying gig in the entertainment industry 17 years ago – making lightsabers for Star Wars! Since then, he has remained an unstoppable force, working all over Australia and in New York and Holland.

With a career that spans film, TV, theatre, music videos, festivals, art installations, pyrotechnics and events, there is no facet of creative arts that this artist and designer hasn’t been involved in first hand. With each project, Hurricane aims to create immersive and interactive experiences that engage and excite audiences.

During his illustrious career, Hurricane has worked alongside world renowned artists to create work for some of New York City’s most famous landmarks including the Guggenheim Museum, Times Square and The Rockefeller Centre.

Since returning to Sydney in 2012, Hurricane founded XYZ Dimensions which delivers comprehensive technical design and art direction, with a focus on stage design for music and arts festivals. Hurricane has designed stages and decor for Australian festivals such as DefQon1, Burning Seed, The Town, Subsonic, Days Like This, Let Them Eat Cake and Regrowth. He has also worked with Opera Australia, the Lyric Theatre Sydney and designed and produced a stage in Holland for DefQon1 Netherlands.

Utilising a wide range of materials and processes suitable for outdoor permanent and semi-permanent installations, Hurricane likes to incorporate disregarded industrial waste into his works minimizing waste streams and promoting sustainability wherever possible.

Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.

Event Details

Session 1: So You Want a Career in Light & Technology Sculpture

Yes, you can have a career building robots that are five storeys tall! Meet the artists* behind some of the most popular works on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk including Zara Pasfield, Tim ‘Hurricane’ Bestman and Adrienn Lord.

Hear about how you can take your interest in art and design into a career making light sculptures. This session provides an opportunity to meet the artists behind Robot SPACELand’s 16metre tall EcoBot at Darling Harbour and the artists behind Regal Peacock, a giant kinetic bird, as well as immersive lighting experiences at Taronga Zoo and Barangaroo.

Come and discover that the artists in Vivid Sydney have each followed a unique road to build their individual careers. From mechatronics specialists and engineers to industrial designers and electricians, Vivid Sydney is proving that the great artists of our time haven’t necessarily gone to art school.

Session 2: So You Want a Career in Projection Art?

Do you love Drawing? Painting? Storytelling? Technology? Gaming? Meet the artists and technicians behind 2D and 3D animated projections on the landmark buildings in Vivid Sydney.

Speakers* include Bonnie Forsyth, Jonathan Nix, Michael Hassett and Murray Debus who have contributed to 3D mapped projections on Sydney’s landmark buildings including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), Customs House and Sydney Opera House. Hear the stories of how Vivid Sydney's animators, designers and lighting specialists learned their craft and how they came to make work for the festival.

This session is a perfect opportunity to ask questions like: How many projectors do you need to light the Sydney Opera House? How big are they? How do you tell a story on a building façade like Customs House or the MCA that has gaps all over it for windows and doors? How do you know the animation you’re creating is going to fit on the building? What are the best colours to use when designing projection on a building? How do you make a projection interactive?

*Speakers subject to change.


The day commences with a Vivid Sydney Overview – presented by Destination NSW.

This is followed by two 90-minute sessions comprising:

  • Topic Overview – presented by Lucy Keeler, Curator, Vivid Light
  • Meet the Professionals – Panellist overview
  • Moderated Panel Discussion
  • Q&A for students and teachers (15-20mins)


Program Structure  
9:15am - 9:45am Student Arrival
10am Vivid Sydney overview presented by Destination NSW
10:15am-12pm So You Want a Career in Light & Technology Sculpture
  Speakers* include Zara Pasfield, Tim 'Hurricane' Bestman and Adrienn Lord who have created light installations such as: Robot SPACELand's Ecobot, Regal Peacock and Cathedral of Light.
12noon - 1pm LUNCH BREAK
1pm - 2:40pm So You Want a Career in Projection Art?
  Speakers* include Bonnie Forsyth, Jonathan Nix, Michael Hassett and Murray Debus who have contributed to 3D mapped projections on Sydney’s landmark buildings across Vivid Sydney
2:40-2:45pm Closing comments and Thank you
2:45pm Student departure



Vivid School will take place at the International Convention Centre Sydney, Australia's premier convention, exhibition and entertainment destination.

Accessible by foot, car, taxi, ferry, coach and light rail, ICC Sydney is located in the heart of Sydney’s vibrant Darling Harbour precinct.

Meeting point: The Vivid School registration desk will be located in the main entrance to the Convention Centre. This entrance can be found at the northern end of ICC Sydney, closest to Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour) and Harbourside Shopping Centre.

To plan your trip to Vivid School at ICC Sydney, please visit the getting to ICC Sydney page.

If you are planning on bringing your school group by bus, please contact us by 10 May at: vivid.school@dnsw.com.au


Food and beverage is not provided by Vivid School. There will be a one hour lunch break. Please bring all required lunch, snacks and beverages. Water stations will be available to fill up water bottles.


Registrations for tickets to Vivid Sydney 2019 have now closed.

For teachers and schools who have already registered for Vivid School 2019, payments must be finalised by Friday 10 May. Once payment is received, we unfortunately cannot offer refunds for cancellations.

If you are interested in information for Vivid School 2020 and to assist us with programming and planning, please provide your details here.


If you have any further questions regarding Vivid School you can contact us here.

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Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.