Sunday, February 22, 2015

White Night Melbourne 2015

I enjoyed White Night Melbourne so much last year that I was eager to check it all out again this year. Running for one night only from 7:00 pm - 7:00 am, it's an opportunity to choose your own adventure as there is so much to see and experience. In order to get the best out of White Night, I have the following tips:
  • Plan ahead what you want to see: Look at the program and highlight what your "must sees" are on a map. It's much easier to see things in a geographical order than to zigzag across the city.
  • Come into the city after midnight: The best way to avoid the big crowds and long lines is to come in as many people are starting to head home. I arrived around 1:00 am and was able to wander around without having to deal with a crush of people.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: As the footprint of White Night expands, it means you will be doing a lot of walking in order to see everything. I walked over 11 kms (nearly 7 miles) during the four hours I was at White Night.
  • Follow #WhiteNightMelb: Wondering where those secret spots on the map are going to be located? Utilise social media to find the answer so you don't miss out on something great.
I started my night at the NGV to see KEYFRAMES by Group LAPS, which featured illuminated stick figures in motion, and experience the laser lumia effect of Infinite Curve by Kit Webster and David Leigh.

Next I headed into the Queen Victoria and Alexandria Gardens to hear the kinetic sound sculptures of Ray Lee's Chorus, and see the ultimate profile photo opportunity provided by Carla O'Brien's Neon Angel Wings (and there was a line of people waiting to take pictures in front of it). I then walked past the glowing giant lotus flowers of Sita's Garden in the Yarra River and across to Birrarung Marr to see the fire breathing dragon of Sean Diamond and Stephanie Selig's The Crucible.

I am a massive fan of The Electric Canvas as their light projections are always so amazing. Once again they did an fantastic job with Wonderland along Flinders Street, taking on the theme of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The laneways and streets of Melbourne's CBD held many little treasures to discover, including the combination of street art and light projection with Yandell Walton and 'I & The Others' Exodus, the animated sculptures projected in Plasmatic No.1, Plasmatic No.2, Plasmatic No.3 by Andy Buchanan, and the Vanishing and Becoming light projections on the Queen Victoria Women's Centre by Sohan Ariel Hayes.

At the State Library there were two different pieces to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Outside were the Rabbit Hole light projections by Nick Azidis, and inside the library dome were the 360-degree light projections of Eat Me by Antoine + Manuel accompanied by music by Sui Zhen. It was great to finally get into the dome this year (the line was much shorter at 4:00 am) as I not only enjoyed the projections, but also the air conditioning since it was still so warm and humid outside.

On the map for White Night there were a number of secret spots named with a question mark as to their location. Fortunately I learned via Twitter that one not to miss was Sofles - Graffiti Mapped curated by Juddy Roller, which was located on the way to the Carlton Gardens. The work combined 3D video mapping with street art and a musical score. It was an innovative work and one of the highlights of the evening.

My last location for the night was the Royal Exhibition Building to see 4 Elements by Ocubo. Showcasing the elements of earth, water, fire and air, the projections also featured dancers moving across the building as the elements changed. This was a large scale, amazing work projected onto one of my favorite buildings in Melbourne. I couldn't think of a better way to end my White Night journey for 2015.

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