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Sydney Lights

June 10, 2009
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Every now and then (ok – pretty regularly), I find myself thinking that Sydney is such an unattractive city, with nothing cultural or artistic happening, and I allow myself, for a moment, to sink into the depths of despair. I find myself thinking how I wish I lived in Melbourne, or anywhere else actually, just not stupid ugly Sydney. Now I know this goes against common thought, and there has always been Stuff Going On, but that Stuff either hasn’t appealed to me, or I’ve been looking in the wrong place.

Anyway, lately it seems to me there’s more of it, more Stuff. And some of it’s quite good.

The inaugural VIVID Sydney Festival of Music, Light and Ideas is on at the moment, and the other night I went around the Light Walk, which showcases 25 “beautiful and dynamic light art sculptures using innovative, smart technology.”

A list of the lightworks, with pictures, is here. Some of them, to be blunt, weren’t great. But the best of them made the whole thing worth the time – they’re interesting and engaging and beautiful. Lighting the Sails, an illumination of the Sydney Opera House by Brian Eno was gorgeous. The other two standouts for me were Human Tiles by Portuguese artists Carole Purnelle and Nuno Maya and Rocklights by Ingo Bracke, a German artist. I wasn’t sure what Rocklights was meant to be about, but I thought it looked like a mathematical map of the sky, an idea I’ve been enjoying ever since.

Wall of light

Human Tiles by Carole Purnelle and Nuno Maya

Human Tiles used a camera to pick up on features of passers by and incorporate them into the kaleidoscope, so it was constantly changing.

Wall of Light 2

Human Tiles by Carole Purnelle and Nuno Maya

The festival has some kinks which will hopefully be worked out in the next couple of years, but it’s got potential and some of it’s really good. It gives me a bit of hope for Sydney’s cultural future. The pictures I took really don’t do them justice. There are some great ones here.  It’s on for another few days and it’s free, so if you’re in this corner of the world you should check it out.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2009 5:34 pm

    Lovely – that looks like an amazing festival. I understand what you mean about comparing your home town to Melbourne. While Brisbane can have its charms, I often long to live in Melbourne which seems to be a place much more aligned with who I am and what I like to do.

    While I haven’t been to Sydney in ages, I always find that the city has such a busy, busy buzz…which I find to be kind of scary. I really must return and explore some of its nooks and crannies…

    • maybenextweek permalink*
      June 12, 2009 10:11 am

      Hey Tracey,
      Yes, Sydney does have a busy buzz – sometimes I feel like it’s a hostile force working against me, like I’m being harassed. And the thing is, I usually love cities, they tend to invoke a feeling in me that anything is possible, and exciting and interesting things are happening around every corner, things I could be included in, if I so choose. Maybe that’s it – the feeling that Sydney is exclusive rather than inclusive.
      I’ve only been to Melbourne once, but I loved it – it has those good qualities, Stuff happening, (my kind of stuff) and easygoing people. I’ve got lots of family in Brisbane and have been there a few times – I think in the last five years or so it’s developed a much more positive, creative vibe. I tend to look forward to visiting much more than I used to!

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