For the second year running, Sydney is celebrating the approach of winter with Vivid Sydney, a festival of light, music, and ideas. Brian Eno organized last year’s Vivid Live program and this year husband and wife team Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed have taken the curatorial helm. Anderson’s performance Music for Dogs and Reed’s noise band Metal Machine Trio are among the highlights, but the project that has wowed the crowd is Anderson’s lighting of the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Anderson’s graphics, adaptations of previous artwork and motifs, playfully mix abstract, organic, and representational imagery. There are recognizable patches of hair, flowers, animal skin, fireworks, and paper doll clothes. Viewed together, the visuals create a kind of musical montage — without the sound. As Anderson told the Sydney Morning Herald, she aimed to make the projections look “slithery – kind of half alive” and the sails “ripple.”
Laurie Anderson’s Lighting the Sails remains on view at the Sydney Opera House through June 20, while Vivid Live events end June 11. View a selection of images from the light show below.