Last night I went to the fascinating Wellington Lux lighting event on the Wellington Waterfront. (Runs from 6pm to 11pm, 1 to 9 September)
This “teaser” event consists of four lighting installations, using new and interactive technology. The idea is to sample it this year, and grow it into the future…bring it on, please!
The four installations are located within walking distance of each other, as a mini-trail, from Te Papa’s walls, to Odlin’s Plaza, to the park between the Wharewaka and St Johns Bar, and the Michael Fowler Centre (Town Hall side).
I arrived just as they were starting up the projectors, so I was able to enjoy the changing light as the sun set and the projections got brighter while the evening grew darker. As the installations became more visible, passers-by started noticing them. It was nice to see people purposefully striding by, then suddenly slow down and get drawn in to a moment of imagination before strolling on again, more slowly.
The hypnotic Enigmatica by Kit Webster became a new part of the cityscape behind it.
The movable Wavelight by Squid Soup on the side of Te Papa was hours of interactive fun – you moved in front of it and the lines and pools of light moved with you, making big splashes of colour on the walls.
Storybox’s Afterlight installation in containers was a smaller version of their storytelling installation, with sound and images on the container walls, projected from inside. This small child was transfixed by the contemplative images on the screens, with the captivating soundtrack.
The experience of discovering amazing and unique things as you walk about is delightful, and it adds a new dimension of wonder to the city. It’s also an opportunity to develop and showcase new technologies, including sustainable event practices. (And its all free to the public, which is very heartening in these trying economic times!)
The location is well-chosen, as there are already many existing forms of lighting along the waterfront public pathways and tracks, and even the stock exchange ticker scrolling around its building, so these interactive installations seemed like an extension of the city at night.
Wellingtonians love their arts and events, and this idea has the capacity to grow into an iconic festival, so I would strongly encourage the organisers to carry on the good work, the funders to carry on funding, and hopefully we’ll have a winter lighting festival as part of our city-scape very soon.
Note: in case you think you’re seeing double, my post also features on the Wellingtonista site as a guest post.