Vivid 2017

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Story & Photos by Jane Hearn & John Snelson

This week’s adventure was a wander around Vivid, Sydney’s annual festival of light with artists’ installations set up around the city.  This time of year also coincides with the annual Sydney Film Festival, so there is more than one reason to be in the city.

We did our best to get some good images on a Leica X2 and a Leica Q and, although we are a little disappointed in the outcome – it was lots of fun!

There are multiple locations to see the lights of the Vivid, so we broke our coverage into a couple of nights – the first around Martin Place in the City and the second around Darling Harbour, South Barangaroo, The Rocks and Circular Quay.

Firstly, on Thursday after watching “The Nile Hill Incident“, a good Egyptian film thriller, it was an easy walk to Martin Place to see Re/Fraction, at the Lloyd Rees Fountain; here too we found the Urban Tree projected onto  ‘The Mushroom’ (which is part of the Commercial Travelers Association Club) building at the MLC Centre.

We also took some shots of the Portena eatery looking back to the GPO clock tower through a veil of colour.

Secondly, on Friday, the night before it all finished, we  took the late afternoon ferry to Darling Harbour, and walked the short distance to Barangaroo South.

Here, we had some fun with the Trapdoor installation on Wulugul Walk – a moving animation of the earth falling away under your feet, ocean going boats and some dancing penguins. Creepy.

Around the corner to Barangaroo Avenue and a surprise encounter with the “Hot Potato Band“.

Hot Potato is a talented street band (the ‘pool of players numbers up to 11 members sometimes) jazzing it up New Orleans style … tonight there were 7 musicians with a couple of drums, 3 saxophones alto, tenor and baritone, trumpet, sousaphone.

A short walk on and we were confronted by a couple of lost amphibian Deep Sea Divers disguised as What Lies Beneath.

Yikes; they were beached and very spooky. We were not quite sure what this had to do with Vivid, but hey, whatever, it was fun.

Onward and upward … through the new precinct and tunnels, lifts and escalators to Wynyard Station.  

On the way, we visited The Pyramid, a screen for an arthouse video – still don’t know what is meant but it looked cool (ish).  J2 had a walk aroung underneath wearing special headphones, weird and again we were not sure what this was all about.

We loved the new open spaces and architecture, the oh-so wide glass-walled walkways and levels making some good photo opportunities.

It’s just one train station to Circular Quay, then off to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and into the Canon Exhibition where J1 was able to get large format prints of two shots.

Before we knew it, 9-00pm and time for dinner.

Into The Rocks to Caminetto just off the Argyle Cut for some authentic down to earth Italian pizzas and pasta. If you’re lucky you might be serenaded by the Italiano/Espanic duo with the harp and guitar.

Here the fare is authentic Italian pastas and pizzas – the taste and essence of Italian cuisine. It is one of coziest and perhaps lesser known but most delicious Italian venues in Sydney, a quaint Italian courtyard restaurant.

Full of spag bog (J1) and pizza (J2), we headed back to Circular Quay and the ferry home across the Harbour, under the Bridge itself with some great views of the Opera House via McMahons Point.

It was 10-30pm.  Where did the time go !

One of the great joys of living at Waverton is our proximity to the City and the most beautiful Harbour in the world.

For both of us, since living here first in the ’70s, we still get a real thrill every time we cross the Bridge be it by train, bus, car or on foot … or as for this partly moonlit night, further illuminated by the evening’s last moments of Vivid, sail under it by ferry.