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  • Writer's pictureDanny Broe Architect

Vivid Sydney 2015 Highlights

Entitle (Amanda Parer) Customary photo : the festive ferry

Mechanised Colour Assemblage (various artists)

Vivid festival is arguably Sydney's most spectacular winter festival. It grows in content, strength and size every year and draws thousands to brace the cold harbour winds to bask in the glow of its polychromatic lights.

This year, the festival expanded to Darling Harbour, Central Park, University of Sydney, and Chatswood. Smaller venues pop up around town serving up art, food and ideas from Sydney's lively creative community.

Here are my personal favourites from a chilly stroll around Circular Quay:

1) Universal Everything's exhibition at the Playhouse.

Universal Everything is a multi-disciplinary design collective that have been invited to do the headline projections on the Opera House sail. For me personally the most enthralling works are located beneath the sails where Universal Everything also exhibited a collection of their animated works. These animations are psychedelic, anthropomorphic dancing beasts that are influenced by parametric architecture, and artists like Len Lye and Norman Mclaren.

photograph by David Curzon
photograph by David Curzon

2) Splendens (Vossarch)

Splendend capture the powerful moment when two Siamese Fighting Fish are poised to battle to the death. This piece is reminiscent of Chinese New Year lanterns, and equally evokes (perhaps unintentionally) the electrifying excitement of the Luna New Year festivities.

3) Tidal Reed Garden (Aura)

Tidal Reed Garden is sculptural reeds made from cut clear acrylic and lights that gently bob up and down following the movements of the waves coming in and out of Campbell Cove. They squeak and groan against the brackets that anchor them to the wharf and intensifies the sensory experience of this piece. These ethereal sculptures are the result of the artists' experimentation in bio-mimicry.

photograph by David Curzon

4) Submerged (Sinclair Park)

Submerged is one of the more simpler pieces on offer, but possibly one of the most hypnotic. The interplay of light and shadow in waves lapping against Campbell Cove jetty and the shore evoke the emergence of monsters and ghosts from the depths of the sea in science fiction and horror films.

5) Enchanted Sydney (Spinifex Group)

This year's Customs House projection is a crowd favourite. The artists featured Australia's native flora and fauna in a humorous and whimsical animated narrative that delighted both children and adults.

In case you missed it, here's a video to the whole show to make up for the static photograph above.

'till 2016, Vivid. Stay luminous and radiant!

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