Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Vivid Sydney: So much more than just a lightshow!

Vivid Sydney is in town and no one in Sydney should miss it! Well it’s on for almost a whole month and attracts an ocean of tourists, so unless you live under a rock, chances are slim that a Sydneysider would not know about it.
We decided to go on a weekday after work thinking the crowd would be less and queues smaller, and as it turned out, it was quite a smart move indeed! Well, the place was definitely not deserted but at least we did not have to elbow people and jostle for space as we made our way from one installation to another!

Our plan to see Vivid Sydney consisted of two parts. We decided to head to the smaller harbour-side installations first, as we had reservations for a Vivid Sydney cruise later in the evening. There were many Vivid cruise deals available and we decided to go for a Vivid dinner cruise,as it would save us the time of having dinner later.

We headed straight to ‘Eyes on the Harbour’ as that was one of the most talked-about Vivid Sydney installations where a smart camera scans your face and then projects it onto a big screen above Darling Harbour. You can select filters like you do on your phone to decide your final look. As cheesy as it was, we all took great pleasure in seeing our faces light up Darling Harbour! Next on the itinerary was to head to the Royal Botanical Garden to see ‘Synthesis’, which portrayed how a tree sustains itself giving and taking from Earth. It looked like one of the trees in Avatar, glowing in many colours. 
‘Sydney’s Hidden Stories’ was also an interesting exhibit that primarily holds great appeal for children, but that didn’t stop us adults from dropping our jaws in amazement once in a while. It featured the exploits of a lizard leading you through a fairytale land of witches, gnomes and other creatures. ‘The Matter of Painting’ used the Museum of Contemporary Art building as its canvas to project images onto its walls. We couldn’t get tickets to go for ‘Drone 100’, a synchronised performance to music by hundred drones over Sydney Harbour. That would have been a visual treat, but sadly had to give it a miss.

By then, it was time for our Vivid Sydney special dinner cruise out on the harbour. A Vivid cruise on Sydney Harbour is a great way to get good views of the Opera House and see ‘Lighting the Sails’. The famous sails of the Opera House transformedinto an animated canvas of Australian indigenous art, the theme for this year. The Harbour Bridge, another icon of the city was outdone by the Opera House but still put up a decent show with the pylons changing colours of many hues. The food and drinks aboard the Vivid dinner cruise were perfect accompaniments for the evening, further sweetening the experience.

The final place to check in before calling it quits to our Vivid day was the ‘Memory frame’, a giant photo frame set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. We got our pictures clicked, souvenirs to keep forever to remember this day by, in case our memory ever failed us. From harbour installations to the Vivid dinner cruise to the Opera House, Vivid Sydney 2016 has lived up to expectations. Can’t wait to see what the next edition has in store!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Vivid Sydney 2017 Installations at the Royal Botanic Garden

Vivid Sydney 2017 is almost upon us and it’s time to book your Vivid Sydney cruise tickets. Some of the installations for this year are already on the official website of Vivid Sydney so plan your cruises and visits accordingly. This year’s Vivid installations look to increase the user interaction with the visitors thus making it more interesting.

The Royal Botanical Garden has a few installations this year with the obvious nature-centric theme, but these concepts are visually and thematically mind-blowing!Plan your evening in such way that you visit these fantastic works of art at the Botanic Gardens before heading down to the harbour for your Vivid Sydney cruise that treats you to the visual extravaganza on the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge & the other harbour precincts.

‘Spreading Life’tries to capture the experience of blowing on a dandelion and letting the seeds float and glide through the air resulting in the spreading of new life. It shows the passage of nature, as a flower slowly dies for others to be born.

This installation reminds us of a simple but beautiful action like blowing a dandelion which in turn represents dreams and desires.

‘The Big Red Button’ is another installation at the Botanical Garden which shows an attractive green plant and a visibly placed red button with a sign that reads ‘DO NOT PRESS’. But people will always do what they are told not to do and if you end up pressing the button, the plant bursts into flames gradually turning into charred and smoky remains. At the next press of the button, things get back to normal where the bush starts sprouting tiny leaves and gradually grows back to its full glory again.

The visitors are made aware of the impact that humans have on the environment and the fact that it is in our hands to decide whether it should be a positive or negative impact.

‘Immersion’ delves into the sensory exploration of the colour red. Our senses and brain are most stimulated when exposed to shades of red as it is the colour of extremes. Some find red powerful, exciting and of good fortune. Others see it as the symbol of fear, blood and a warning of danger.

The dual nature of red is brought out through this installation and the different effects it will have on the visitors.

‘The Sunflowers’, as the names suggest, are a row of potted sunflowers that greet each visitor with a gentle bow while imparting the message of harnessing solar energy for a sustainable future. Solar panels store energy from the sun throughout the day and this energy is then used to light up the LEDs of the sunflowers and also to power the bowing movements.

Visitors to this installation are made aware of the importance of solar energy and the part it plays in leading the world towards a sustainable future.

‘Waratah’ pays tribute to the iconic flowering plant that is native to Australia. The floral emblem of the state of New South Wales, Waratah is a difficult plant to grow, but once it thrives, it blooms majestically. The installation shows the beauty of this native flower and how it reacts to its immediate environment. Responding to sound, movement and direct contact, the installation comes to life with an explosion of light or change in light patterns.

Through ‘Waratah’, visitors are made aware of the fact that plants can also respond emotionally to different stimuli like humans and can sense changes in their environment. It also vividly showsthe unseen relationship that exists between humans and plants.