Vivid Sydney 2014

I'm here, standin' on your art

I’d been hankering for the chance to go to Vivid since it was launched on May 23, however Ruben and I had been so busy these last few weeks we simply did not have the opportunity. However with the long weekend coming up, and the end of Vivid fast approaching, as they say we struck while the iron was hot!


Though in fact it was already cooling

As a matter of speaking, but let us digress a moment. Our first stop that evening of June 7 was a late afternoon tea/early dinner at the FUSION Cafe in Eastwood. With so many dishes on the menu, it will be difficult for us to ever manage to explore all the delightful tastes.

Having a long time before our train to the city after having too much fun in the restaurant, we decided to explore the other side of Eastwood for 10-20 minutes before the train arrived. The bright lights above the Eastwood hotel cast some lovely shadows across the beautiful architecture and we stopped short there amidst the Korean restaurants snapping photos of a building in the darkness, before we hurried back.

Vivid can happen anywhere in Sydney, guys, and any time of the year!


A second digression

This is more of a habit of Ruben’s but let’s digress a second time here, as we had barely arrived at Central station and were preparing to catch a connecting train to Wynyard when a shriek whistle arrested our attention. What could it be but a steam train?!

We spent a good hour there, taking photos and getting ourselves lost in the steam, walking carefully lest we walk off the edge of the platform. Owned by the Powerhouse Museum, the 3265 with the steam hissing out in every direction was glorious, since the last time we had seen a steam train up close, all the way over in Thirlmere, these trains had been cold and lifeless.

This one was warming us up in the cold! Nonetheless, time was ticking away, and since we’d had a good fill of our steam-train-less spirits, we hurried on our way.

Welcome to Vivid

Musicians and lights in the Wine-yard

Finally. Sure enough, Wynyard was full of people with the same idea as they bustled down the closed of George Street heading towards Circular Quay. Many groups of people gathered around performing street musicians to listen to them play though, much to my surprise, and there were many as we made our way down the road, stopping for many detours. I even bought a CD from one musician, but more about that another time.

The first sight to greet us was the great glowing rainbow heart which I read was part of the Mardi Gras float. Although I could see that the number of this display was definitely not 1, we continued from there, heading down towards The Rocks as we admired the plays of light over buildings, and the soothing accompanying music.

You can see most of my photos from Vivid, and the detours before that over at my Flickr in a handy album collated for your convenience!

Although the whole display was quite beautiful, with obvious differences from last year, I have to say that the Opera House was truly magical this year. Although usually it is a pleasure to photograph, this year the play of lights across it was a little more special. While in the past year there were many plays of animal skins and faces and patterns across it, this year’s one seemed more meaningful. And perhaps we were able to understand it better, given we were closer to some speakers as it blared the story out across the open harbour.


This meant we got a fairly wonderful vantage point though. Perhaps a little more distant, but thanks to working our way over to that point and finding a handy ledge where we could kneel and rest our cameras as a makeshift tripod, I was able to capture much more detail, and at the same time, make it look like the LIGHT OF GOD shone down upon the Sydney Opera House. Well, well.

My favorite display on the House’s tiled surface this year was definitely the Sydney Opera House’s 40th Anniversary tribute, as the blueprints were painted across the physical house, and then the process of its building happened in fast forward. Everyone laughed together at the end as the recorded sound of a ferry rung out across the harbour, a silhouette across the House painting the tiles behind it in rainbow colours.

Well done, Sydney.


Of course the display at Martin Place wasn’t to be missed either, and we made it there to catch the beautiful sprouting tree on the MLC Tower which had been what Ruben had really wanted to see — I’d been unaware until earlier that evening, however I’m glad that we managed to catch it. A masterful execution, excusing my poor photography skills.

Another year, another Vivid. And another Vivid unfinished. But we’ll be back again next year, to see some more. Who knows — we may actually finish it next time!