Let there be light

25 May 2018
North Shore Times
Daniel Stringer

For the next three weeks, Chatswood will be transformed into a Vivid wonderland.



The Liquid Lies stall will test your truthfulness at Vivid Chatswood. Picture: Adam Yip


Vivid Chatswood is designed as a continuous walk which takes you on a sensory journey through the heart of the CBD.


Chatswood will be illuminated by a colourful array of light over the next three weeks as Vivid returns for another fabulous year.

The Chatswood CBD will be transformed into a hub of light, music and ideas as the area hosts the annual extravaganza.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Chatswood has taken part in Vivid and Willoughby Council has been busy putting the final touches on this year’s event.

The Concourse, Chatswood Chase, Westfield and Chatswood Interchange will again host the spectacle, with the layout designed to take visitors on a visual journey.

Willoughby Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said the event was always a favourite among locals while attracting many visitors.

“The community is excited to see Vivid Sydney return to Chatswood,” Cr Giles-Gidney said.

“What makes Chatswood unique is that each year the precinct is designed as a continuous walk to take you on a sensory journey, starting at the Chatswood Interchange through to ending at Chatswood Chase.

“The precinct is familyfriendly with a special daytime exhibition of wearable art and a light walk that’s fully accessible for those with prams and wheelchairs.”

This year’s new attractions include the World Of Wearable Art exhibition, Life In 2050 and Liquid Lies (see panel at right).

Future Scape is a large, 360-degree projection featuring NASA imagery and will be the centrepiece of this year’s festival. The display has been designed by highly skilled production manager Mark Pennington, who said he hoped audiences felt as though they were travelling through space.

“I found this journey and feat quite extraordinary and wanted to create a work that has the same sense of exploration and achievement,” Pennington said.

“The immersive nature of Future Scape will make audiences feel like they are part of that journey through deep space.”

Another new attraction this year will be Life In 2050, in which two artists create a masterpiece in front of the e audience. One of the artists is renowned mural artist Thom Buchanan, who said he was excited by the challenge of creating art in front of an audience.

“I aim to create images that work both away and towards, into past and future, using fusion and decay,” Buchanan said.

“Sometimes ghostly, I am often mixing dark and light tones to try to draw the viewer through an imaginative timescale that encompasses future built environments

— utopian and dystopian, enhancing the layered pasts that I feel we still inhabit.”

It is not all about the new, however, as some old favourites are also in the mix.

Among them is crowd favourite, The Octopoda.

This will be the second year the interactive octopus will feature in the Vivid lineup, giving visitors the chance to control the movement using the beat of percussion.

Designed by two-person design team Amigo & Amigo, The Octopoda will be suspended on a new, purpose-built frame consisting of 88 tentacle drums, 100 metres of LED strip lights and five lighting animations.

Simone Chua, one of the designers responsible for the exhibit, said she was excited to once again showcase the work as part of Vivid in Chatswood.

“We’re thrilled to see The Octopoda return for another Vivid Sydney,” Chua said

“It is somewhat unbelievable to think how far we have come in only six years, from our initial interests in light design after university to showcasing some of our best work at the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.”

Another returning favourite sure to please everyone’s tastebuds is the Light Market. The pop-up international market has been constructed from scaffolding and recycled materials, collected over a period of months. The focal point of this exhibit will be the food, with delicious offerings from all over the globe.

The market offers equal amounts of visual appeal, as the vibrant lighting design will include Star Wars inspired lasers, lava lamps and reflective Glomesh bags, which have partly been donated by the public.

Award-winning designer Geoff Cobham, who has taken charge of this year’s Light Market, said he was looking forward to showing it off to the crowds.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Chatswood for Vivid Sydney and to be a part of this world class event,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the audience explore all corners of the market.”

And, just like last year, Vivid will run on 100 per cent green power, according to Willoughby Council.

Future Scape will make audiences feel like they are part of that journey through deep space

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