Adelaide Botanic Gardens, winter 2021
The Illuminate Adelaide Festival was not just concerned with conceptual illumination of the mind through the Festival of Ideas. Illuminate also illuminated– literally- with light installations around the city, in the Zoo, and in the Botanic Gardens. The Gardens are Adelaide’s most visited tourist attraction and their city centre location makes them an ideal daytime sanctuary for workers and visitors alike, providing a welcome boost to wellbeing, both physical and mental.
Life Cycles is truly an immersive, inspirational experience, reviving for the soul
Inclement weather and the latest pandemic-related lockdown resulted in the postponement of the opening night of Life Cycles but, once restrictions eased, it was worth the wait. Such is the sheer brilliance of this immersive sonic and visual experience that it is hard to describe it in words. It’s like walking through sonic and visual poetry. So much so that the GF parsed my meagre attempt at verbage into verse.
Familiar and not so familiar Corners of the Gardens transformed By light and laser An epic of journey of sound and vision that meanders Through ghostly bamboo thickets, meadows of luminant flora, A dazzling show of reflections shimmering on the lake, Grand avenues of trees drawn to the heart of an incandescent orb, Laser bursts like foliage of pure energy To the hothouse- An ethereal palace of unworldly radiant luminescence Emerging from a nascent hazy glow.
This spectacle of dancing light is accompanied by a soundtrack played with incredible fidelity and not inconsiderable volume through hidden speakers along the way. At times you are surrounded by the spirituality of unearthly choirs, the paganism of rustic folk, the inspiration of reviving gospel, floating in an ocean of ambience that perfectly complements the visuals. Light Cycles is truly an immersive, inspirational experience, reviving for the soul in the heart of winter. I feel the Gardens will never quite be the same, but always a place for renewal.