Winter’s coming on in Sydney, with fog and bitter chills (bitter by Sydney standards – probably balmy if you’re from Saskatchewan). The Writers’ Festival is over and the Film Festival is more than a week away. But there’s Vivid to light up our nights.
The Opera House, Customs House and the MCA become screens for brilliant animation at 6 o’clock every night from last Friday to Monday week. I don’t think any of the three is up to the standard set in the last two years, but it’s still worth joining the crowds at Circular Quay each night for the spectacle. There are luminous spectacles along Macquarie Street, in Luna Park, and in Darling Harbour as well – I haven’t seen them yet, but the photos on the Vivid site are very promising.
Those are the big items. But the walk from the Opera House to the Rocks and down to Walsh Bay involves, I don’t know, hundreds of smaller scale light sculptures and installations. There’s an electric graffiti wall in a lane in the Rocks that has butterflies flying through rainforest – but all the foliage wilts and dies when anyone walks too close. There are myriad mirror balls in a Walsh Bay breezeway. There are enough interactive light-projecting set-ups to keep a family happy for hours.
And again this year, my brilliant son Liam and friends are part of it, with their creation, the Morphic Mirror. It’s a responsive funhouse mirror: hold your arms wide and the surface of the mirror contorts so that your reflection broadens; wave your hands in the air, cross your arms over your body, and your image morphs in response. Like the Social Fireflies and Screaming Rapture of previous years, the Morphic Mirror has an intimate, human-sized feel, and as this video demonstrates is a real crowd pleaser, one person at a time.
Morphic Mirror is created by Frank Maguire, Jason McDermott and Liam Ryan.
There’s more to Vivid than the lights. Evidently there’s music and ideas as well. The lights will do me.