Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vivid Sydney Returns

Well, really, Vivid Sydney returned and is now gone again; I'm just a bit slow with the updates.

Last year, I was incredibly impressed by Vivid Sydney, our city's festival of light, music and ideas. This year's program offered some of the same visual treats (a series of slowly changing colorful images and patterns projected on the Opera House), as well as something new.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the first NSW Governor Lachlan Macquarie's arrival in Australia and Vivid Sydney artists commemorated his achievements by projecting historical images and text on the facade of St Mary's cathedral. I personally feel there is no danger of anyone forgetting Lachlan Macquarie; indeed, you cannot travel two feet without running into a street, park, school or suburb named after the first governor or his wife, Elizabeth.

Still, I found the display absolutely stunning. A series of images, facts and diary and letter excerpts portrayed Macquarie as a compassionate man who showed mercy toward the convicts shipped to Australia against their will. Perhaps Australians are grateful to Macquarie because he granted their forefathers the dignity necessary to forge their new nation.

Though jetlagged, we insisted that my mom see Vivid Sydney on her first night in town and coincidentally the final night of the festival. And like last year, it was completely worth our while. Thank you so much, Sydney, for creating another piece of public art worth braving the chilly evening air.

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