The world-famous Vivid Light Walk returns with spectacular light art installations, large-scale illuminations and mesmerising 3D-mapped building projections to light up Sydney’s waterfront.
Embark on the Vivid Light Walk on Alfred Street, behind Circular Quay, and immerse yourself in Sydney's Hidden Stories, an immersive wonderland of 3D landscapes, withches and wizards, which have been projected onto the facade of Customs House; further along, Extrude's 10-metre-high translucent tower pulsing with light looks fragile yet commanding. It looks precarious but it’s safe; climb in and find out. Nearby, molecules appear in a spiraling column at DNA, shifting shape and colour as you move around the sculpture.
Closer to the harbour in First Fleet Park, Light Rocket looks like an old-style rocket ship rising 15 metres into the darkness and docked with its own light tower. Enter the base and ‘take off’ into a kaleidoscopic world of light, mirrors and sound. Friends, lovers and couples can declare their love for each other from a raised platform at I Love You where an illuminated ‘Love-OMetre’pulses in the shape of a giant heart. Nearby, watch in awe as the familiar shape of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is transformed into an artist’s canvas with 3D-mapped building projections and a palette of rich colours in The Matter of Painting. Get on board an imaginary vessel at Cadmans Cottage for Impossible Voyage, and venture into The Rocks where narrow laneways, heritage architecture and leafy streets create the perfect backdrop for the Light Walk. Sound Bubble offers a fun way to interact with anartificial brain; just approach the hugetransparent cube filled with white balls tosee how. Nearby, in tiny Kendall Lane, an interactive gyroscope surveys the landscape at DODECA where luminous geometric shapes swirl in the darkness, drawing you in to its ethereal sphere.
Indoors at the Cleland Bond building in The Rocks, lovers of light shows from the present to the past will enjoy the very funky Lightshows 60s to Now. This exhibition presents a series of light activations by Sydney’s original light artist Roger Foley (aka Ellis D Fogg), tracking the development of thelightshow in Australia. It’s a fascinating and timely reminder of how light art has evolved over the past 50 years.
A series of waterside installations adorn the foreshore of Campbells Cove, also one of the best vantage points for viewing the Lighting of the Sails. The ‘i’ generation will feel at home with PTOLEMi where sound, video, graphics, LED and interactive technology come
together in a symphony of light. Nearby, a multi-sensory experience awaits in Vision^ (reflection); crystalline illuminations and projections will bring back memories of a favourite childhood toy, the kaleidoscope. From Hickson Road Reserve, look up to the mighty steel arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, illuminated on the eastern side for the first time as part of Dress Circle.
Back on the ground, one hundred carbon-fibre ‘rods of light’ swing gently at Sweep. Then, before passing beneath the Harbour Bridge and on to more of the Light Walk at Walsh Bay, stop at EORA – The Land, a tribute to the traditional owners of the lands on which Vivid Sydney is taking place, telling their story through animations, graphics, music and dance. (EORA is a collaboration between the Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Eora TAFE). Then step into the mysterious interior of Infinity Box, where a large and unassuming structure invites discovery and adventure.
From here you can continue the Light Walk through Walsh Bay, or head back through The Rocks to see more light art at Martin Place and The Royal Botanic Garden. You can also make your way on foot or by ferry to Darling Harbour and the Australian National Maritime Museum.
From here it’s a 10-minute walk to Central Park and its striking projection installation, X-Factory. Other precincts to see more light art include Mosman’s Taronga Zoo and Chatswood on the north side of the harbour.