Vividly Awful

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This evening we headed into the city sans husband (who was still at the Dungeons and Dragons tournament) to meet family at the Vivid Light Festival. For non locals, Vivid is an annual event where illuminated interactive light installations are placed around Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour.

The high light is a series of projections on the Sydney Opera House as well as the surrounding buildings.

 The night began benignly enough with the girls relatively well behaved on the bus trip in. P2 entertained the passengers with her repertoire of jokes – or should I say “joke”. She kept repeating “knock, knock”, “who’s there?”, “poo poo” all the way to Circular Quay. (There is nothing funnier than excrement to P2 at the moment).

I had planned to dine at MacDonalds before checking out the installations. This was my first mistake. We arrived to find the Scottish restaurant heaving with humanity – crammed like a group of uni students trying to break the record for the number of people that can be squeezed into a phone booth. It was a sign of things to come.

Once we embarked on our contemporary art odyssey, I soon realised that its impossible to interact with an interactive installation when it is surrounded by a crush of viewers six deep. Not that I would have been able to admire very much anyway. My eyes were firmly planted on P2 (whom I had foolishly dressed in a brown parker) as she weaved chaotically through the throng.

Crowds and small children is always a recipe for stress. With the masses at Circular Quay comparable to New Years Eve, the whole scene was enough to induce an emotional meltdown. On several occasions, we found ourselves trapped in grid lock.

Apparently there were over 50 exhibits but the crowds prevented us from seeing even half of these. The projections on the Opera House were novel and interesting. At one point the “sails” on the famous building appeared like sheets billowing in the breeze. It was an impressive effect. Following this images of dancers were projected onto the House’s tiled surface. Whilst this was visually arresting, the novelty soon wore off. It certainly was not worth the pain endured in order to see it.

As is so often the case, what was a tiresome experience for me was an exciting adventure for the princesses. They got to run around at night time with their cousins and have the extended family lavish them with attention. They were far more interested in the company than the event itself. Still the evening was vividly awful mistake that I won’t be repeating next year. At least not on a weekend.

One exhibit we actually got close to.

Interacting at Vivid

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