Huge crowds have streamed into Sydney’s CBD over the weekend as part of the annual Vivid Sydney light festival. This free event runs until June 9 and bathes the city in colourful lights from 50 installations and projections across six sites around harbour foreshore, from Darling Harbour to Walsh Bay, North Sydney, The Rocks and Circular Quay, as well as lighting up Martin Place for the first time.
Vivid Lights is such huge hit that around a million are expected to visit the city when it lights up between 6pm and midnight every evening. The event is such a hit for Destinations NSW that the public transport has struggled to cope over the opening weekend, despite a massive increase in services. The ferry system is especially full and NSW police have urged visitors to be patient and prepare for delays on the transport system as well as possible disappointment when it comes to visiting precincts in danger of overcrowding, saying people need a “Plan B”.
But if you do brave the crowds, here are some of the amazing sights you’ll see.
Keep an eye out for bridge climbers wearing flashing, illuminated vests too
Select a ‘musical sculpture’ on a touch screen, get onto a platform in front of Customs House and ‘play’ the sculpture to bring it to life. The latest from 3D-mapped projection from design team Danny Rose. Photo: Brett Hemmings
The work is called Gamma World by Jess Johnson and Spinifex. Expect to see giant snakes sliding across the Art Deco facade. Photo: Brett Hemmings
Urban Tree Project by Nicholas Tory, Lucy Keeler, Martin Crouch, Julian Reinhold & Iain Greenhaigh. Photo: Brett Hemmings
Digital Forest is an exploration of animated light made from 120 3D LED tubes suspended from an overhead grid that are constantly transforming. Stay a while. Photo: Brett Hemmings
Simply lit with camouflage colours, this memorial to our WWI war dead is treated with respect. Photo: Brett Hemmings
Skyflower, by London-based collective Dark Art, led by Simon Brockwell is an awe-inspiring light show, designed to look like a flower from above and act like a beacon.
It sits next to the Cenotaph Skyflower and pays homage with a colour sequence alluding to the vermillion poppy fields of Flanders. Photo: Brett Hemmings.
This Martin Place work by design firm The Buchan Group - Anthony Rawson, Patrick Shirley, Gary Edmonds, Daniel Thomas & Lincoln Savage - is a geometric head that uses live video to put your face on the work. Photo: Brett Hemmings.
Martin Place is part of Vivid for the first time. Photo Brett Hemmings
One of the prettiest works in Vivid, Jen Lewin's sculpture is like a giant lilly pond, with more than 100 interactive circular platforms that change colour and ripple with light as you walk on them, sensing where you place your feet, how heavily you land, and how quickly you leap and bound. Photo: Brett Hemmings.
Cellular Tessellation is a geometric architectural installation made from recycled plastic milk bottles by three design-driven academics from the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture at the Gold Coast’s Bond University. Photo: Lawrence Furzey
Architect and artist Priyanka Rathod and photographer Vin Rathod use an old and popular way of playing with light, the kaleidoscope, to create a fun work that rearranges the surrounding colours in new mosaic forms. Of course its just as much fun by day. Photo: Daniel Boud.
Inspired by Louis XIV’s ‘Water Garden’ at Versailles, French company Aquatique Show International has created Aquatique a computer-controlled spectacle featuring four giant water screens, large-format video projections, colour lasers and, for some shows, marine fireworks. Shows are every hour on the hour from 6pm until 11pm nightly with an extra show on Saturdays at 8.30pm. Photo: Brett Hemmings/Destinations NSW
Inspired by Louis XIV’s ‘Water Garden’ at Versailles, French company Aquatique Show International has created Aquatique a computer-controlled spectacle featuring four giant water screens, large-format video projections, colour lasers and, for some shows, marine fireworks. Shows are every hour on the hour from 6pm until 11pm nightly with an extra show on Saturdays at 8.30pm. Photo: Brett Hemmings.
Sculptor John Wright and North Sydney Council present a major light installation of 22 perspex figures sited on the harbour foreshore at Kirribilli. You might bump into a few of the colourful, illuminated locals while you're there too. Photo: Lawrence Furzey.
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