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Barangaroo Lights Up at Vivid Sydney

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - May 23: Creative minds at work in Sydney’s newest precinct at Barangaroo in Sydney on May 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steve Christo)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - May 23: Creative minds at work in Sydney’s newest precinct at Barangaroo in Sydney on May 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Steve Christo)

Barangaroo Delivery Authority is pleased to unveil details of Winter Camp, presented at Barangaroo for Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere. Unique to Vivid Sydney, the six-metre tall puppet Marri Dyin (“Great Woman” in Sydney local language) returns to Barangaroo, now joined by Sydney school children to share in the stories of the land and its relationship with First Nations peoples.

An exciting feast of colour and light in Sydney’s waterfront precinct, the installation’s centre-piece will again be the glowing, magnificent contemporary spirit Marri Dyin (pronounced “Mahr-ee Djin”). One of the largest puppets constructed in Australia, she returns in 2019 to invite visitors to her winter camp, and to a magical bushland setting stretching down to the waterfront.

Inspired by the changing seasons, the winter camp setting will be a site where visitors can reflect on their own experiences surrounded by light and sound, enhanced by the visual narrative of puppetry. The theme is inspired by the traditional winter season migration by First Nations peoples, as they moved to the coast for shelter and food. Winter Camp will be a place to gather, reflect and honour the fact that Sydney stands on the land of the oldest continually living culture.

The installation experience will also expand to include a school of captivating, illuminated fish puppets. In a first for Barangaroo, a series of workshops will be held in the leadup to the festival. They will be led by First Nations choreographer and dancer Albert David and will initiate Sydney school children into the story of Marri Dyin, teaching them simple puppeteering skills and basic choreography. Each performance night of Vivid Sydney, a different group of school children will join Erth’s performers to puppeteer the school of fish along the waterfront, offering young people an exceptional opportunity to be part of an iconic Sydney experience, and creating a beautiful visual element dancing and moving around the great woman.

From Monday to Wednesday, Marri Dyin will sit in still contemplation by the crackling campfire. During Thursday to Sunday evening performances, she will once again roam the waterfront, accompanied by the school of fish, and inviting audiences to join her as she prepares for the winter months ahead. As she moves through the landscape, she will invite audiences to speak the names and meanings of her surroundings in traditional language, and greet children, sharing a quiet moment of intimacy and contemplation.

Marri Dyin is not a traditional spirit, rather she is a contemporary concept; an elemental spirit intrinsically connected to the land. Her existence seeks to recognise the influence and importance of the First Nations women, including Barangaroo, who lived in Sydney prior to settlement. Marri Dyin represents their strength and spirit, and their role as providers for their people through a connection to the land and its waterways.

The artistic collaboration brings together the talents of Erth Visual & Physical Inc., Jacob Nash, Mandylights and James Brown. Combining world-class puppetry, mechanics, sound and light, the artwork and performance will be a spectacular showcase of Australian artistic innovation and creativity.

Barangaroo Executive Director, Activation and Precinct Manager, Sandra Bender said: ‘Our ambition is to create unique experiences for visitors to Barangaroo. We produce and present an ongoing contemporary multi-arts program that engages artists and brings to life the narratives of the site for Sydneysiders and global audiences. Marri Dyin emerges from our commitment to reflect the cultural significance of the area, the multi-layered history of Barangaroo and Sydney’s most vibrant place to work, live and relax.’

Scott Wright, Artistic Director of Erth, said:

‘It is a great honour to have Marri Dyin returning to Barangaroo, the land of the Gadigal people. With her return we are reminded of our responsibility to deeply respect and value not just one another, but First Nations people all over the world, and of the intangible value of this country’s Indigenous heritage. We are welcoming children into Marri Dyin’s nightly ceremony this year (2019), because it is the children that will take what we share with them into the future, ensuring the preservation of ancient knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.’

Jacob Nash, Design Consultant and Creative Collaborator said:

‘In 2019, I along with the other creative caretakers of Marri Dyin get to share more of her stories with the people of Sydney. The opportunity to collaborate with Erth and continue to create beautiful contemporary Indigenous images is very inspiring. Not only do we get to tell stories and create things that have never been seen before, but more importantly we get to share these moments with community and inspire the next generation.’

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer – Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said:

‘In its eleventh year Vivid Sydney continues to evolve, surprise and delight and the light installations for 2019 – including Barangaroo’s emotive Winter Camp performance with Marri Dyin – reflects that. It’s exciting to see school children involved in Vivid Sydney this year (2019), through our inaugural Vivid School and also through the opportunity to create this unique experience at Barangaroo. In 2018 Vivid Sydney welcomed 2.25 million attendees and delivered over $172 million in tourism spend to the NSW economy, and there’s no doubt that the iconic Light Walk was a highlight for many of those guests.’

Source: NSW Government

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