The western part of VIVID, centred around Darling Harbour, was much more satisfying. 

At the lower walkway, circling the Barangaroo headland, were a series of First Nation art themed flagpoles

At Barangaroo there were lovely spot projections on the walkway whilst above there were inflated balloons representing planets of the solar system.

At Tumbalong Park an engaging water ballet of fountains ‘dancing’ to music leading to twirling ‘windmills’, inflated chess pieces, and spinning discs creating an audio soundscape. 

For the first time the Goods Train tunnel facade had projections of historic projections of historic Sydney scenes.

The other VIVID debut was Central railway station. Spectacularly lit its Clock tower had visual outlines of figures dancing on a disco themed treadmill.

In conclusion, it seems that, as with the Sydney Festival, in relation to Circular Quay, the heavy hands of budget cuts came to the fore. 

Text and photos by Ben Apfelbaum