By GEMMA BILLINGTON
Vivid is set to shine on Sydney’s streets this August as the city continues to recover from closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival at this stage has the green light following Sydney’s June/July stay-at-home orders, with restrictions lifting July 10th.
James Hancock was one of the artists effected by Vivid’s cancellation last year. His piece in this year’s festival responds to the 2021 themes of resilience and diversity.
“One Big Backyard” explores what it means to live in Sydney and is set to shine against the Unwins Stores in the Rocks.
Alongside collaborators Bim Ricketson, Ashley Diamon and George P. Johnson Australia, the instalment celebrates unity and togetherness, which Mr Hancock says is a reflection of Vivid itself.
“I think what is amazing about Vivid is that it brings people from all over Sydney and beyond. I love that we’ve created a piece that talks to that,” he said.
“Our piece is all about different lives and families around the city. I think it’s important to show this to people, to share that everyone’s lives are different, families take a lot of forms and the thing that is amazing about the city is that we all seem to be able to live together.”
“To be a part of such an amazing event and be able to bring [together] people’s lives from across the city is really a great thrill… to be able to project onto the very fabric of the city with stories about the cities varied inhabitants is a perfect opportunity.”
Mr Hancock will join hundreds of other artists, musicians, and creatives when Vivid hits the streets from August 6-28 this year.
In 2019, Vivid attracted more than 2.4 million attendants, the highest turn out recorded since it began in 2009. The event generated $172 million for the NSW economy.
In April, the NSW Government announced the return of the festival which showcases local and international talent across the Sydney CBD, Circular Quay, The Rocks and Darling Harbour.
Minister for Jobs, Investment and Tourism Stuart Ayres hopes this year’s program will drive NSW’s economic recovery, attract visitors, and support the artists and creatives of the arts and cultural sector, which has been one of the hardest hit industries since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Vivid Sydney also supports the NSW Government’s new 24-Hour Economy Strategy which will help Sydney realise its potential as a thriving global city, and create more employment opportunities in the arts, entertainment, cultural and hospitality sectors.”
Despite the strain on NSW’s arts and cultural sector and continued restrictions, there remain high hopes this year’s festival will shine brighter than ever.