Local artists to illuminate the gateway to the city centre

Released 28/02/2020

The Sydney and Melbourne Buildings will be illuminated with the work of two Canberra artists during this year’s Enlighten Festival.

The historic buildings that mark the entry to the city centre will light up from 28 February to 9 March with five colourful creations, two each from Jodie Cunningham and George Rose, and one created from the neon shapes from the festival’s 2020 branding.

Evening performances and activities will take place around the buildings during this period to help connect the city centre with the festival. The Canberra Centre is also getting into the festival spirit with five “mini beast” installations, including a gesture-controlled humming Neon Cuckoo Bee, an enormous proximity-activated Swallowtail Butterfly, and a touch sensor singing Cicada, located throughout the centre from 28 February to 25 March.

City Renewal chief executive Malcolm Snow said illuminations and activities would complement the festival’s broader Parliamentary Triangle program.

“Illuminating the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings last year really brought the visual excitement of the Enlighten Festival into Civic and we have built on that success with an even bigger program in the city centre this year,” Mr Snow said.

“With a number of bold, colourful designs the buildings will look better than ever and people will be able to experience Enlighten when visiting or travelling through the city centre.

“We will also stage performances and activities during the evening to entertain and occupy people until it’s dark enough to fully enjoy the illuminations.

“Enlighten is fantastic festival for our city and we want to continue to make sure that our city centre reflects the important events that are taking place in Canberra.”

Performances coinciding with the illuminations include Australian Dance Party, the KREWDBorgs, and Total Spray with Amelia de Frost and Babyfreeze, who will perform around the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings and on stages in the median between them.

Multidisciplinary artist George Rose’s work uses colour, gradients and type to spread her uplifting messages.

A regular at street art festivals around the world her design for the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings focuses on using colour, gradient and Australian botanicals to create an inspiring projection with positive impact.

“My art practice is all about scale and as a muralist, I’m quite ambitious in my ideas,” Ms Rose said.

“Light projections excite me because I often like merging technological methods with analogue drawings.”

Jodie Cunningham’s 'Canberra Journeys - Canberra Futures' series reflects on the idea of journeys: large and small journeys, life journeys and currently our community's journey through unprecedented weather events and bushfire disasters.

“The work I have created for Enlighten 2020 includes symbols of gratitude and hope that respond to the 2020 bushfire emergency and the urgent need for climate repair,” Ms Cunningham said.

“These art works utilise contemporary symbols referencing personal and collective memories and symbols of hope for our community. With inspiration coming from a variety of local sources, including the Marion Mahoney and Walter Burley Griffin 1911 plans for Canberra, patterns from local suburban architecture, the pinwheel - turning our luck around, water drops - to break the drought, wind-turbines and sunrays- renewable energy sources to build a sustainable future.”

For more information on the Enlighten Festival in the city centre visit cityrenewalCBR.com.au

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