Enlighten – fun in Canberra.

I should preface this post by saying that I am a terrible photographer at the best of times, and these photos were shot using an iPhone, so apologies for the poor quality!

The Canberra Festival is on at the moment, and one aspect of the festival is Enlighten. It’s an after-dark event where some major buildings get bathed in light with images designed specifically for each building. It was run for the first time last year, and I didn’t get to it. I was expecting it to be some pretty colours on the sides of buildings, but was very pleasantly surprised to see how intricate and interesting the displays were.

Questacon is a science centre museum thing, full of interesting activities for kids to learn about science. During the day, it has boring white concrete walls. Over the weekend, it was a portal to the Matrix (above). This projection was really cool because the binary code actually ran down the building and back up again, across the background of green and black. Most of the other images on Questacon and the other buildings were static.

The images on each building changed regularly, so there was a lot of ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s when the new image was revealed. Questacon had a series of science-based projections, but my stand-out favourite was the periodic table:

Awesomely cool.

Over at the The National Gallery of Australia, things were moving at a more stately pace. The Gallery is currently exhibiting Renaissance masterpieces from the Academia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy. The walls of the Gallery were awash with images from the exhibition, which were beautiful even on such a large scale (about 3 storeys tall).

Another favourite was the National Library. It usually looks like this:

… but last night was bathed in light, with designs that related to the vast knowledge and history held within the building. My favourite was one that represented the works of John Gould, one of the first naturalists in Australia who sent many specimens of weird marsupials back to Britain, and drew many plates of these fantastic-looking creatures. But I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo (too busy admiring it!!). However, I did get a shot of the library looking like a library:

And with a striking Japanese-style projection:

There were many other images that I didn’t capture, and other buildings, like Old Parliament House and the National Portrait Gallery that were also lit up. Canberra has some fantastic open areas for accommodating festivals and events but seems to not capitalise on it as much as it should (no pun intended), so it was great to see this event attracting crowds. Looking forward to seeing it again next year!


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