Melbourne with its pride as being the art capital of the nation, puts on its best shows during the colder part of the year. NGV brings down European works during its ‘Winter Masterpiece’ series every year, musicians put on sensitive tunes while audience warm their back against the fire place. And in the public space in the city centre, there are installation by artists. I was just looking back to my blog posts from this time of the year in 2011. and I was reminded how much is actually going on. It’s time I started spending more time in the city checking out those places.
This weekend, I came to learn of this installation through a posting on some Facebook post. The first day I saw, on Thursday, it was drizzling on and off. I was on my way back up from a bit of cold so I went home when it started raining again. But Friday the weather was much more agreeable. With a quick pit stop at a noodle shop in Chinatown, I had enough energy in tank to cover some of the inspirations.
It is that big tree at the corner of City Square (corner of Collins and Swanston Sts). Pieces of glass bowls, or balls, seem to be hanging in soft net tied to the branches. I was watching the lady adjust the height on ladder, and waited till the lights come on.
As you can see from the ‘Light in Winter’ photos in 2011 as linked earlier, I generally see colours even after dark. It may not be as saturated and often much more faint sense of colours, but I can still see them. This installation, however, made me more aware of the dim lights, without the emphasis on their colours, or how these lights are different from other lights in the surrounding space. It is a shame that this tree was surrounded by so much light and bright lights. It would have been very striking if this glowing tree was standing alone on a hill, in a dark area outside of town. There was a story of the glowing tree in one of the children’s books, I vaguely remember. I should go back to reading that again to see those images again. Anyhow, that night, it was the light, and not the colours, so my images lack the colours.
Soon people started to gather. It was not just a visual impression – it was designed to be interactive. People are given a wireless headphones. They seem to be very much insular now while focusing on the narrative coming to them through their ears.
One last shot – this is actually from the rainy evening on Thursday. Have you noticed that the world looks a lot more colourful on a rainy night than when it is not wet? With all surface from the wall to the ground reflecting every light with their colours, the city street is much more bright and filled with more colours.
That event was just for a few days. But if you are interested in what’s coming next, maybe you can get in touch with people behind it…