ASE have been contacted by Mary-Anne Kyriakou and Davina Jackson regarding the article I wrote about Vivid Sydney in June 2011
Mary-Anne and Davina have submitted some corrections and updated information to that story. In particular they question the statement in the following extract in the original article…
“There he met Australian artist Mary-Anne Kyriakou and they talked about a lighting event for Sydney that would showcase creativity and new technology in lighting.
Anthony made an approach to NSW State & Regional Development (forerunner to Events NSW) who asked him to do some more research. So he went to London and saw the Switched on London event run by the lighting industry that showcases new technology. Although he thought this event wasn’t setting London on fire it did have some interesting elements. This inspired him to think about a light walk around Circular Quay using the SOH as a focal point along with projections onto various buildings and with installations.
He then took this concept to the newly formed Events NSW who were looking for ides for a new winter festival for Sydney. Events NSW like the concept but were looking for a bigger event than what Anthony had in mind so they brought together the music and ideas components and Vivid Sydney was born.
The first event in 2009 had 18 installations plus projections onto SOH.”
So, over to Mary-Anne and Davina
Smart Light Sydney was formed in 2007 to create the sustainable light art festival Smart Light Sydney as an anchor for Vivid Sydney.
We sought the initial support from the government and City of Sydney in 2006. The not for profit entity Sydney International Smart Light Festivals founding directors include the eminent Barry Webb, Davina Jackson and myself.
We approached Anthony after these discussions with government. Anthony went on a recce trip to London with our Smart Light team.
For some facts:
The first festival had 25 light art installations. www.smartlightsydney.com
The festival was conceived by Smart Light. Anthony came onto the team after the concept was conceived.
Smart Light made all the applications to the government to seek approvals.
Brian Eno was contacted through Anthony, who assisted to secure this as an anchor installation.
Smart Light has since made the low energy light festival under the name “i light Marina Bay” in Singapore and will do the festival again in 2012.
Following up from Mary-Anne (as her partner in the Smart Light festivals but also as an editor covering architecture and design for the past 30 years), the way I suggest you understand these issues now is that Vivid Sydney 2009 included the world’s first Smart Light festival (Smart Light Sydney). Smart Light is new kind of urban light art celebrations which have specific 21st century ethical guidelines that include no fireworks, no fire/smoke displays and no lightbeams polluting the night sky plus we are the only festival that is independently audited for energy consumption.
Anthony Bastic was our production manager for SLS 2009 and he did the central capsule for Vivid Sydney 2010, which was a set of projections onto buildings up Macquarie Street to celebrate a Macquarie centenary. He used some of Mary Anne’s selected Smart Light artists in that second Vivid festival but apparently did not want Mary-Anne herself to be involved. Meanwhile (with Events NSW assistance), Mary-Anne got the contract to present another Smart Light festival in Singapore, with its local name being iLight Marina Bay 2010; she’s doing the second iLight/Smart Light Singapore festival now for 2012.
Although Mary-Anne personally helped ENSW and Anthony curate international artworks for the 2011 Vivid Sydney festival, it seems that Anthony and ENSW no longer want Vivid Sydney to be associated with the Smart Light low-energy light art festivals movement. We’re now negotiating to deliver Smart Light festivals to other cities and there will be a book on this historically significant movement next year.
As the writer who wrote the first article on Marc Newson in 1986 — and articles on many young designers and architects who’ve gone on to international fame — I am confident that Mary-Anne Kyriakou will be recognised as the creative visionary of the Smart Light movement … while the NSW Government’s festival production contractors are of course commercially concerned with organising a variety of different festivals in NSW.