The Ultimate 8km Vivid Sydney Light Walk!
This year’s Vivid Light Walk is a wonder in itself. Eight kilometres of Sydney’s streets, building and public spaces are transformed into an urban wonderland after dark. Over 60 light installations, superscale 3D mapped projections, water fountains and kaleidoscopic lighting design that connects the city’s architecture and landmarks. Expect to be mesmerised as you explore this playground of the unexpected!
So, where to start? Festival Director Gill Minervini has some tips for marking out an intrepid evening adventure that you can blitz in one hit followed by post-exertion refuelling or take in at a more leisurely pace with rest stops and refreshments en route. Either way, you’ll get the full rush of Sydney’s creative and cultural pulse.
Meet your friends or get the family together for Lights On! at 6pm under Endless Love that crowns Circular Quay Station. This bold beacon by Michaela Gleave embraces our city, people, visitors, past, present and future in one glowing gesture of acceptance and adoration. Whilst you’re at Circular Quay, be sure to see For Sydney with Love, Ken Done’s projection on Custom’s House. This vibrant ‘love letter’ to Sydney animates a lifetime of Done’s colourful paintings set to music by jazz maestro James Morrison AM. Next, pause for a moment at Temple by Leila Jeffreys, an installation that offers a contemplative sanctuary on the Light Walk and speaks to our connection with nature.
Look up and you’ll notice Future Natives – Chris Daniel’s flock of stylized neon birds is a clever ‘wayfinder’ through the entire Light Walk, guiding you to all the light works while ‘birdwatching’.
Be transfixed as majestic cliffs of colour shape, shift and morph across the Museum of Contemporary Art. Australia’s leading abstractionist Helen Eager transforms the six-storey façade with New York Sunday, a visual journey through her artistic evolution with music by Paul Mac.
Continue around Campbells Cove and find yourself at Earth Deities by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran in Hickson Road Reserve. This monumental multi-limbed cacophonous avatar demands our devotion as it pulses with a synthesis of dramatic lighting and sound.
In a salute to the arch that has defined the city and the nation, take in the epic Sydney Harbour Bridge 90th Birthday projection the on Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons by Spinifex – featuring amazing archival footage from Transport for NSW. It’s also a perfect vantage point to admire Martu Artists’ Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground morphing across the sails of Sydney Opera House.
You’re now halfway along your light walk journey! Hot foot it on to Barangaroo Reserve. Immerse yourself in the soul warming glow of Nura by Warwick Keen and Mandylights. This contemporary imagining of dendroglyphs (designs carved in the bark of living trees) lines the shoreline. Spend some time exploring the other artworks in Barangaroo and King Street Wharf: The Gallery, ChronoHarp, and Corpi Celesti. If you haven’t already refueled, Barangaroo is a great pit-stop for delicious bites and energy-boosting refreshments.
Next stop is Darling Harbour, the setting for Sydney Infinity by Oracle Liquid with original music by Peewee Ferris. Created especially for Vivid Sydney, be awe-inspired by the largest ‘liquid and light show’ ever seen in Australian history. While there, discover the fabulous Bump In The Night by James Dive, Checkmate, Macula, Resonance, The Windspinners and Halo.
Darling Square and Darling Quarter are home to six installations – be sure to check them out. From here, keep following Vivid Sydney’s flock of Future Natives to the Powerhouse Museum. ESEM Projects’ epic projection We Dream the City welcomes you. Filmic encounters with the city’s past and future transport you into an animated vision of what our urban sphere could be. Bop your way to DJ tunes along The Goods Line and weave between superscale installations and projections. Enter The Goods Line Tunnel into Convergence by Mandylights and see this forgotten landmark transformed by a spectacular, immersive laser experience.
Zip across to Central Station for an experiential journey. Vivid Reflections by Electric Canvas is an interactive projection that uses motion capture technology to turn your movements into animated action, then beams them onto the landmark clock tower. Step inside the Grand Concourse of Central Station for FREE live music every Saturday night under the lit ceiling of this beautiful building.
Congratulations! You made it. That’s 8kms of awesome light and an overage for your step count.
Thirsty? And not ready to go home? If it’s a Friday or Saturday night during the festival, stop in for a nightcap at Vivid Sydney Supper Club at Mary’s Underground where lovable diva Trevor Ashley curates a cabaret of creatives, comedians, and curiosities for your late-night pleasure.
For more fabulous Vivid Sydney festival tips and itineraries, visit our blog.