Final installment I promise - Martin Place, The Rocks and Walsh Bay
25.06.2015 10 °C
So for my last ever trip to Vivid Sydney 2015 I went to Martin Place, The Rocks and Walsh Bay.
I was a woman on a mission, as this was the last weekend I could see the lights and I wanted to make the most of it.
After my job at an advertising magazine in Surrey Hills, I frogmarched myself up to Martin Place to start my quest. Martin Place is, unfortunately, most famous in recent months for the hostage situation at Lindt Cafe, which saw two people killed in December 2014. I went there when flowers were being laid the day after the siege finished, but I'm pleased to say this visit was for a much happier reason.
I started at the top end, near the eye hospital and made my way downhill, photographing and videoing away as I went.
First stop was an unusual looking cube, which glowed different colours and looked very pretty - a beacon to start off my night.
Then I watched as a crowd of children bashing on drums as they turned different colours. The drums were surrounded by fir trees which also had lights on them and this area really reminded me of Christmas. I'll be spending Christmas 2015 in England, as December 2014 was spent in Sydney and Mummy Wright put her foot down!
The next area is pretty hard to describe, but hopefully the pictures can do more justice than my words.
The street was bookended on two sides by colourful blocks which projected different images. Underneath them were an array of food stalls and the smell was intoxicating. I regretted bringing a pack-up as my mouth was watering from beginning to end.
At the end of this section was a bar area with lit-up chairs similar to the ones we'd seen at The Star and fancy drinks which looked amazing. Sadly, I didn't indulge. I do like a glass of wine every now and then, but this was a solo visit and my alcoholism ends at gulping on my own. Well, it did tonight anyway!
At the very end of Martin Place was a collection of vertical wooden xylophones. They glowed reds and blues, but you had to find the right ones to hit to make any noise.
After a little experimentation I hit the right notes (haha) and made a little tune.
I then made my way to The Rocks - the hilly area next to Circular Quay which leads up to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Here there were several smaller installations, just like at Martin Place, rather than one big giant piece.
The theme in this area seemed to be mirrors as there were lots of colourful places to view your own mug! I did a few selfies, but mostly I laughed at other people trying to position themselves just right for the perfect shot.
Once again the area was dotted with food stalls and eventually the smells and sights got the better of me. I had a strawberry kebab dipped in chocolate and convinced myself the fruit counted as one of my five-a-day. It was very yummy and I think I showed a lot of restraint by not buying ten of them.
I carried on walking towards the bridge and came across a few more installations I loved - including aliens that would wave at you if you went over to greet them and a couple dressed like Salvador Dali-esque clocks.
There was also a cool projection onto a stone wall. It was quite surreal seeing modern art cast onto such an old building. But I guess that is what Sydney is all about - a contrast of new and old.
After walking down, round and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge (and taking another quick photograph of the forrest in front of the Opera House) I made my way to Walsh Bay.
Now, I have to say - this is the only bit of Vivid I was disappointed with - the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After so many spectacular sights, it was a shame more wasn't done with the bridge.
The iconic landmark had a small thin strip of lighting on it, which changed colour, but was nothing like the Sydney Opera House or any of the other smaller displays for that matter.
I realise there is only a certain amount you can do with a bridge, but I thought it definitely looked better in previous events like New Year's Eve and Australia Day.
Anyway, onto more positive things - after the bridge was a little room where you saw glowing pyramids behind a sheet of glass. The effect was quite stunning, as you'll hopefully appreciate from the pictures below.
Into Walsh Bay itself, I walked under an archway of blue lights which did some very funny things to my camera. I look rather peculiar in the shot below! (I don't usually look like a Smurf).
I then walked under a wave thingy (told you the pictures were better than the words) that made a sea-like noise whenever the wind blew. It felt really lovely being underneath - like floating on a lilo in the ocean.
Next was a harp that, when strummed, changed the image projected onto a wall opposite it. Just like the ferris wheel at Darling Harbour, I could have stayed longer, but there was a queue of eager children.
I then had the good fortune of meeting some lovely shadow robots and their friends from the zoo.
Round near the poshest of posh houses (they each have their own berth in the harbour. I doubt I could afford the furniture on the boat, let alone the properties themselves!) there was a beautiful light installation which when you first approach looks like a random set of sticks. However, on closer inspection you realise that standing at different angles means you can see different words. I managed to photograph 'dreams' and 'fear' quite well although I honestly don't know how many words I was supposed to see. Perhaps one says 'wish'?
The final piece on my journey was a light projection on a wall, which moved when you stood in front of it. I sheltered from the rain as I watched a few children have a go.
And then that was it - the end of my walk around Vivid Sydney 2015.
I had such an amazing time and saw the city from an entirely different viewpoint. I absolutely loved every minute of it and was so pleased I got to see it.
I think the organisers, artists and volunteers all deserve a massive round of applause as they did a wonderful job.
I'm only sad I won't be around to see the 2016 show. But then again, the world is big and there are plenty more places to explore!