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Mon, 1 April 2013

The Light in Winter at Fed Square

The Light in Winter at Fed Square
People power lights up Melbourne in the midst of winter
The Light in Winter
Directed by Robyn Archer 1 - 30 June Federation Square FREE
This June Fed Square’s annual program of art, sculpture and events, The Light in Winter, will feature a new Australian work by renowned light artist Bruce Ramus. A huge steel and light structure representing life itself, the Helix Tree will be activated each night at dusk, by the voices of Melbourne, right in the centre of Fed Square.
Helix Tree will be equipped with advanced sound and light technology that responds to the voices of those who sing to its network of spirals and curves. A succession of community choirs will assemble at its base each night during the month of June and ’sing up’ the Helix Tree.

This year the power of the voice and the helix as the symbol of life resonate through the program. Taking their lead from the presence of the helix will be forums on science and democracy, offerings from Melbourne’s Indigenous and multicultural communities, a new project exploring the common ways of diverse groups and the special Solstice Celebrations from Thursday 20 June - Saturday 22 June.
Exploring these ideas of personal and collective power, Melbourne singer and composer, Lou Bennett of the Black Arm Band will work closely with a range of community groups to create an anthem for the Helix Tree, which will be sung by choirs to light up the Helix Tree throughout the month.

At the heart of the program is the continually burning Indigenous campfire in the Square as well as the Solstice Celebration. On the Saturday closet to the true winter solstice, thousands of Melburnians will gather at Fed Square for an evening of music, dance and food in homage to the longest night of the year and to celebrate the beginning of the journey toward spring.
Directed by Robyn Archer, each year The Light in Winter brings together artists, designers and multicultural groups in a free, month-long program to bring light and colour to the grey streets of Melbourne in its coldest month.
The Light in Winter
Now in its seventh consecutive year, The Light in Winter has a long tradition of bringing together local and international artists and designers for a free month-long program of art, sculpture, events and the much-loved Solstice Celebration.
At its heart is the participation from over 20 of Melbourne’s multicultural communities. The program provides communities with the opportunity to collaborate with other multicultural groups to create new and meaningful artistic works. Like a drawing room for creative collaboration, The Light in Winter encourages communities to seek new forms of art and performance while nurturing the rich traditions and customs of their own cultures. Last year saw Melbourne’s Indigenous community create a new performance with a small Melbourne chapter of a global Indian organisation and Mudra on the Body was the outcome. Traditional Indigenous dance was integrated with the Indian custom of dancing with hand gestures in a free performance to the public.
The Light in Winter is directed by Robyn Archer, who has been the creative force behind the program since its inception. Robyn is an accomplished singer, writer, artistic director, advocate of the arts and is currently the Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra 2013. Robyn works with Fed Square’s Creative Program to bring new and daring light works to Melbourne.

In 2009, UK-based collective, United Visual Artists installed a field of 47 sound-emitting columns of light called VOLUME. In 2010, internationally renowned artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer produced his first major Australian work, Solar Equation. The giant spherical balloon was suspended over the Square and mimicked the sun’s solar flares with graphic projections. In 2012, Spanish guerilla art collective Luzinterruptus seized Fed Square with their installation of 10,000 illuminated re-claimed books, Literature Versus Traffic. Each day the installation grew and finally spilled out onto Flinders Street, stopping traffic.
Bruce Ramus who has created the Helix Tree has expertise stemming from over 30 years spent designing and directing international live shows and events including rock bands U2, REM, David Bowie and many others.

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