11 March 2022

Reconnection and healing at the heart of Enlighten 2022

| Patrick Johnson
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Giant lit up bubble art installation

Ephemeral by Atelier Sisu is on display for Enlighten 2022. Photo: Buda.

The past few years have been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least.

This shared experience is at the heart of Enlighten Festival 2022 where themes of reconnection, healing and respite reflect in a number of the installations.

Dionysus director Dave Caffery said three major installations he curated for the festival, symbolising where we are, what we’ve been through and where we’re going, will resonate with Canberrans.

“These pieces satisfy a lot of different interests and ages and they work beautifully in different scales and contexts across the city,” he said.

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The installations are headliners for City Illuminations – a City Renewal Authority project, produced by the ACT Government in conjunction with the National Capital Authority.

“This year’s expansion of Enlighten to the city makes it safer for audiences and will bring economic uplift to the city after a tough time,” Mr Caffery said.

Focusing on celebration and reinvigoration, Ephemeral by design studio Atelier Sisu is the world premiere of a major illuminated ‘bubble-tecture’ installation.

Positioned across City Walk, Ainslie Place and Civic Square, each evening throughout the festival at half-hour intervals, an immersive light, sound and bubble show will wow audiences as Ephemeral pulses colours amidst floating bubbles to captivate all onlookers.

Ephemeral is an uplifting and beautiful installation for all ages. Everyone loves bubbles, and some of the works will please discerning audiences, so the program should increase footfall and the reputation of the city,” Mr Caffery said.

This installation will be complemented by Edison Chen’s Kin, inspired by the Japanese style of art Kintsugi, which uses gold, silver, or platinum to repair broken pottery.

Kin takes the form of a human bust looking upwards. This figure has multiple cracks that emit gold light. LED light patterns travel up through the cracks, the brightness, colour and speed of which is determined by the sounds of the city.

A meditation on healing and resilience, this installation will strike a chord in passers-by through its recognition of society’s collective hardship.

Flutter Home by Skunk Control, takes a symbolic view of the City’s Sydney and Melbourne buildings. As state borders became more rigid throughout lockdowns, Canberrans felt the distance from loved ones in other cities.

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Flutter Home reflects this with an array of sculptural butterflies symbolising NSW, ACT and Victoria in and around the Sydney and Melbourne buildings, joining together on Northbourne island in celebration.

Made with materials developed by Skunk Control themselves in their research at the University of Victoria, this installation proves at once impressive and stunning in the night air. Flutter Home also includes a hands-on workshop on 19 March, in which participants can make their own butterflies to take home.

As life and the city settles into a “new normal”, Enlighten promises to help us remember, celebrate and move forward.

Enlighten Illuminations will run until Monday, 14 March and the Enlighten program extends to Sunday, 20 March. Some events, including Night Noodle Markets, Van Gogh Alive and some of the After Dark events, are ticketed or require registration. Visit the website for details.

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