Vivid Sydney – art meets technology with “a little magic on top”

Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical. Artist: Jonathan Zawada. Vivid Sydney 2018.

This weekend saw the night above Sydney’s skyline erupt into a dazzling rainbow of colour with the opening celebrations of Vivid Sydney, described by organisers as “the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

Running for three weeks, from 25 May to 16 June 2018,  Vivid Sydney is not just a beautiful spectacle, full of striking light installations, projections and performances from national and international music stars, but also acts as free exchange of ideas, featuring public workshops, talks and debates from contemporary figures from the worlds of  art, science, tech, and academia.

This year the festival was opened by Jonathan Zawada’s fantastical take on the traditional ‘Lighting of the Sails’ ceremony, which saw the award-winning Australian artist populate the façade of the world famous Sydney Opera House with a whole range of twisting, turning, evolving and transforming digital animals and objects, as part of his projection – Metamathemagical.

This year the lights will shine across the nine Sydney precincts of Barangaroo, Chatswood, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Kings Cross, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Taronga Zoo and for the first time, Luna Park – which will host the ‘Spirit of Fun on Coney Island’ light show.

“Vivid Sydney is all about art meeting technology and throwing in a little magic”

New South Wales (NSW) premier, Gladys Berejiklian said: “It’s always such a great feeling to see the city light up in a spectacular symphony of colour and movement, and we can’t wait to see all the moments that will excite and delight visitors who are coming to enjoy Vivid Sydney’s 10th anniversary celebrations over the next 23 days and nights.”

The musical line-up for 2018 brings together local acts Hiatus Kaiyote and Ruel, with the likes of Ice Cube, DREAMS, 90’s dream-wave rockers Mazzy Star as well as Beyonce’s little sister, Solange Knowles– not to mention the jazzy stylings of Orange is the New Black’s Big Boo, actress, singer and comic Lea DeLaria.

Ignatius Jones, creative director for the event, said: “Vivid Sydney is all about art meeting technology and throwing in a little magic on top of it all to entertain visitors. This year the creative visions of local and international artists have been brought to life as large-scale and interactive installations and projections that transform iconic buildings, landmarks and landscapes; from the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, to the natural canvases at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Darling Harbour.”

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