Friday 26 February 2016

Melbourne on a White Night 2016 (Part 1)

Last weekend, Narrelle and once again I ventured out onto Melbourne's streets after dark for White Night.

It wasn't that dark, of course. The key aspect of this overnight arts event is its big illuminated art projected onto the sides of buildings. 

Though these works were less clustered than last year (leading to reports of disappointment), there were some spectacular sights for those who checked the event map and sought them out.

In previous years we'd focused on the south side of the event across the Yarra River, so this year we thought we'd head north for a change.

We were to determined to finally see some illuminations inside the State Library of Victoria, as we'd missed out before due to the length of the entry queue.

A bit after 9pm the queue was indeed long, but moved surprisingly quickly. As we reached the front of the library, we were treated to these external projections:

Pretty, but far surpassed by the very impressive Ideation inside the domed Reading Room. Running on a loop, it was inspired by the ideas and art within the books on the library's shelves.

Images from science and art shifted around the enormous interior while the audience sat on chairs or lay on the floor. As someone who has often used that amazing chamber to sit and write in, it was impressive to see it used in such a different way.

And here's a brief clip I filmed of the work:

Further up Swanston Street, we joined another queue for the City Baths. It moved fairly quickly both inside and outside, though this meant we didn't have much time to view the work within before being hustled to the exit.

It was intriguing though; Incubator lived up to its name. On the floor of the mostly-drained main pool, a projection showed dozens of colourful eggs and an enormous eel-like creature which swam among them, apparently hatched into the shallow waters.

It had been a great start to the night. Nearing midnight, we paused on Franklin Street for supper from a food truck. I had a serve of Ethiopian lentils and injera bread, and it was very good (must find out how to make it myself).

Something we noticed this year was the lack of crowding, at least in this northern sector. There were plenty of people around, but no sense of crush.

Refreshed, it was time to get moving again. The best was yet to come...

Next: Seasons shift across a World Heritage site...

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