Commissioned by Sydney Opera House and Destination NSW for Vivid LIVE 2024.Denim, hessian, a stitched and bunched patchwork of scrap material – fabric...

Lighting of the Sails: Echo by Julia Gutman

Location:

Bennelong Point
2000 NSW
Australia

Venue:
Sydney Opera House
Price:
Free
Echo by Julia Gutman
Echo by Julia Gutman

Artist Details

Julia Gutman

Julia Gutman

Julia Gutman is a Sydney based multidisciplinary artist who reuses donated textiles to produce ‘patchworks’. These works merge personal and collective history with famous paintings to explore themes of intimacy, projection, and memory. In 2023, Gutman was one of the youngest winners of the prestigious Archibald Prize held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and in 2022, she was selected to exhibit as a part of Primavera: Young Australian Artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Access and Inclusion

  • Audio Described - Audio description is a service provided for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Trained audio describers give live, objective, verbal descriptions.
  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.

Event Details

Commissioned by Sydney Opera House and Destination NSW for Vivid LIVE 2024.

Denim, hessian, a stitched and bunched patchwork of scrap material – fabric becomes our reality as we’re led into the shadowy world of Narcissus. Here, as we wade through the textural folds of the story, we’re left to question what it means to truly see yourself.

Watch as the iconic sails of Sydney Opera House are wrapped in swaths of Julia Gutman’s textural work for Lighting of the Sails: Echo and see Roman poet Ovid’s myth of Narcissus afresh. Not only is this an old story made new, it’s also a collision of bygone craft and modern technology. By digitising centuries-old fabric making techniques, Julia and Pleasant Company have transformed donated textiles into an animated, pertinent epic.

In a fantasia of fabrics, we meet our protagonist. A girl with a striped t-shirt, hair made from her mother’s scarf and a face sewn from an old hessian sack. Lured by her reflection, she’s drawn into a proverbial pool. Finding herself transported into the unfamiliar, she must navigate rocky subsoils of satin and dangerous rivers of denim.

Through dance, music, and puppetry, Echo tells a story of wonder, vulnerability, and strength. It weaves together the imagined and the real, the public and the private, the dark and the light. Echo is a call to look inwards and meet our shadows head on. Its beauty and strangeness will reverberate in your mind long after the lights are switched off and the fabric has fallen away.

"My first ever animation, Echo is a digital translation of patchworks I’ve made to date alongside a suite of imagery created specifically from the work, all of which have been composed from worn clothing, sheets and blankets donated by my community. The lines between self and other blur.

The work is about the paradox of self-consciousness, the limitations of our own capacity to truly see ourselves, and the way our own unconscious wounds spill out into our perceptions of one another. It’s a story about confronting your shadow.

Intimacy lives at the core of my practice. I truly believe that life is just one long conversation, or at least that’s what makes it mean something. Echo brings together my interests in narrative, materiality and the psychological in a story that I hope can be simultaneously personal and universal.

I’m incredibly overwhelmed and grateful that this work will be projected on the sails of the Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid LIVE 2024.” - Julia Gutman, artist

 

Collaborators:

Pleasant Company: 
Pleasant Company is dedicated to pushing the bounds of creativity and technology to deliver unforgettable immersive encounters. With passion and play at the forefront, we redefine engagement to leave a lasting impression on individuals and communities the world over.

Christian J. Heinrich, CD and Creative Lead / Fabio Nardo, ECD / Phil Sullivan, CTO / Michelle Schuberg, CEO

Angus Mills:
Angus Mills is a composer, sound designer and electronic music producer from Eora/Sydney. As a composer, his music incorporates textual sound recordings and experimental electronics alongside more traditional musical influences and instrumentation. Since 2017 he has released music on Australian labels Moonshoe, Only Choice, Soothsayer and Local Traffic. In 2023, Angus released ‘Alva’ with Moonshoe, described by Resident Advisor as a 'collection of intricate, outer space rhythmic excursions' that 'beckon you to come closer.' Angus has worked as a composer and sound designer across theatre and film. As a sound designer and composer in theatre, he has worked at venues across Sydney including Belvoir 25A, Red Line at the Old Fitz, and Brand X. Angus' music has been featured on broadcast and digital stations including BBC Radio 6, NTS, Rinse FM, Triple R, Triple J, FBi and Skylab Radio.

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Access and Inclusion

  • Audio Described - Audio description is a service provided for patrons who are blind or have low vision. Trained audio describers give live, objective, verbal descriptions.
  • Wheelchair Accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.