Friday, June 05, 2009

Taking a Light Walk

WHQ and I decided to do the Light Walk today. Part of the Smart Light Sydney project, it's a self-guided walk running from Observatory Hill through The Rocks, around Circular Quay, then to Sydney Opera House. On show are interactive and performance-based art displays and light sculptures.

We got off the bus at Circular Quay and the first thing we noticed is the coloured light box display called Lumenosity in front of the Customs House. The boxes have varying heights and colours. Kids in particular like running around the boxes and playing hide and seek. Crossing the train station and making our way towards Opera House, we pass by a flight of stairs at East Circular Quay, which is wonderfully lit up. From afar, we can already see the Opera House with the funky lights on its exterior shell. The designs are by Brian Eno, and the display is called Lighting the Sails. I don't know about you, but I didn't like the designs. Looks more like multi-coloured bacteria viewed under a microscope. We doubled back to the Museum of Contemporary Arts to check out The Electric Canvas being projected on its facade. We stayed around for a while checking out the displays, and all I can think of is, "I can do that." Further down at the International Passenger Terminal, we see these trees encircled with blue neon tubes. In front of the trees are stationary bikes with electric cables attached to the tubes. People are encouraged to get on the bike and push on the pedals. The mechanical motion is converted to electricity which in turn powers up the neon tubes. Cool.

Crossing the street to Cadman Park, we see the Vessel of (Horti)Cultural Plenty. From afar, it does look like a vase of flowers. Just behind it, outside the Billich Gallery is the Rainbow, so called because it bathes one side of the wall with a continuous hue of rainbow colours. Kids seem to like this particular one, too. We proceed further on to the The Rocks and make a left at Argyle Street. The underpass at Argyle Cut is lighted with strange lines and patterns, which doesn't really make much sense to me. At this point, WHQ is getting a bit bored. I asked her whether she wants to go home now, and continue the rest of the walk on another day. She said no way, let's get this done and over with tonight!

So we passed by Garrison Church and the matrix of green lights called Fire Flies across the road. Going up the stairs, we got to Observatory Hill. The pavilion on top of the hill is bathed in a eerie blue light. Inside, a slideshow of the sky is being projected on the ceiling. Quite a good view of the Harbour Bridge and the surroundings up here. Having seen most of the major light displays, we quickly made our way back to Circular Quay for our ride home.

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