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Vivid 2021 program launches with reveal of Opera House projection

The sails of the Sydney Opera House will be lit with the art of eight female Indigenous artists from the Pilbara, bringing the painted beauty of Australia’s desert country to the harbour for this year’s Vivid Festival.

The centrepiece of Vivid 2021 will be a looped 15-minute projection inspired by the iconic artwork of the Martu artists of the Sandy and Gibson Deserts of Western Australia.

A celebration of Aboriginal culture and themes of resilience and diversity will mark the return of Vivid, the government-owned light, music and ideas festival, on August 6 following its cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Without international headline acts due to border closures, the festival has been forced to rely on homegrown talent to anchor its extensive music program.

As in previous years, the Vivid Light Walk will focus on Circular Quay, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour where a floating Light Walk is expected to draw large crowds.

“The installations and projections have been produced by 129 light artists from 19 countries and many will offer an immersive and interactive experience through voice and motion controls,” Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

“We are putting community safety first, working with NSW Health to ensure everyone is safe so we can all enjoy our Vivid Sydney experience and encourage our visitors to do the same by following the health advice.”

The Opera House projection, Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground, 2021 is a collaboration between Martu artists and Sydney firm Curiious with soundtrack by Electric Fields and Martu artists, and partly inspired by the vibrant collective painting, Yarrkalpa- Hunting Ground, Parnngurr Area, 2013.

The animation reflects the artists’ connection with country, cataloguing seasons, traditional burning practices and cycles of regrowth and hunting.

Organisers promised the animation would be sensitive to the abstracted ancestral stories and traditional knowledge of the Martu people and not be “just pretty colours moving around”.

To keep the event COVID-19 safe, some sections of the Light Walk will be one way to ensure the movement of pedestrians, COVID marshals will be on-site and digital information kiosks and immersive and interactive installations will be touchless, activated through voice and movement.

Vivid runs from August 6-28.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald