White Night Melbourne and Ballarat programs announced

White Night Melbourne Spherophyte - photo by Lorena Carrington and James McArdleWhite Night Melbourne will return to the streets, laneways and gardens of the CBD from dusk till dawn on Saturday 18 February, and the inaugural White Night Ballarat will follow on Saturday 4 March 2017.

The Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren, Artistic Director and Executive Producer David Atkins and the Mayor of Ballarat Councillor Samantha McIntosh today joined together at the State Library of Victoria to announce the first instalments of the White Night Melbourne and White Night Ballarat programs which feature local, national and international artists.

“I am both excited and honoured to have been granted the opportunity to guide and support the team and the artists who will deliver Melbourne’s fifth and Ballarat’s first White Night,” said Artistic Director and Executive Producer David Atkins. “In the course of one evening, over just 12 hours, White Night transforms the city into a grand canvas for works of almost every conceivable art form.”

Highlights of the White Night Melbourne program include: the monstrous fire-erupting Pyrophone Juggernaut at the Melbourne Museum Plaza. The Pyrophone Juggernaut is the largest hand-operated, multi-octave, fire organ in the world and built entirely from reclaimed metal and industrial salvage.

This massive metallic beast bellows an unearthly music of heart pounding rhythms, all powered by monstrous jets of erupting flame. Operated by multiple musicians and performance artists the Pyrophone Juggernaut promises an infernal spectacle like no other!

Flinders Street buildings will come alive from The Forum Theatre to Chapter House with Electric Canvas’ Fractured Fairytales projections, a selection of children’s favourite fairytales – inspired by the Shrek films and the original Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of the 60s and 70s.

The majestic domed La Trobe Reading Room at the State Library of Victoria will be transformed into an epic underwater 360 degree spectacular with Seadragon’s Lair. Sheree Marris, Brad May and Lisa Greenway have created a world-class animation with soundscapes and underwater cinematography to create a living canvas in Melbourne’s own marine metropolis.

If you’ve ever wanted to cut a rug on Collins Street, now’s your chance as the 12-hour dance marathon is back! Swing City presented by VicHealth will be set to the swinging sounds of big band music from the 30s, 40s and 50s, courtesy of big-band legend John Morrison and everyone is invited to join in!

Birrarung Marr will burst to life with Alex Sanson’s flower-like kinetic sculpture of vast proportions, Spherophyte – which unfurls before your eyes. As you gaze into its beauty, the 48 moving arms come alive under lights, ‘breathing’ in an endless, effortless cycle, folding and unfolding as shapes intersect, combine and dissolve.

Fresh from their collaboration with Portuguese creative studio OCUBO at White Night Melbourne 2016, the Pitcha Makin Fellas return with a powerful collection of 24 portraits celebrating Indigenous faces of Ballarat at St Paul’s Cathedral. Black Face (Real Face) is a series of black-on-black portraits and with the use of three different gloss values of black paint means that as you move around the paintings, they change and therefore there is never one right spot from which to see them.

Floating high above the city in Hosier Lane, forward-thinking creative studio John Fish have created a majestic sky jellyfish, The Medusa. Elusive, beautiful and mysteriously alien, her tentacles will gracefully flow down from her dome-shaped bell head, from which coloured light pulsates and illuminates her body.

Additional highlights include: the enchanting Enlighten, the slender and surreal Echinodermus, Carla O’Brien’s LOVE this wayAmanda Parer’s luminous, humorous installation Intrudeand the return of Pierre Ardouvin’s Purple Rain.

“White Night is all about showcasing Victoria’s renowned arts, culture, entertainment and cutting edge technology,” said Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren. “In 2017 Melbourne will light up once more as visitors from right around the world are treated to a party like no other, and for the first time Ballarat will have its CBD illuminated like never before. There’s simply no place like Victoria for this stunning event.”

Highlights of the White Night Ballarat program exclusive to Ballarat include: Nights of Gold – which explores the nightlife of Ballarat during its ‘roaring days’ of the gold rush. The Electric Canvas presents an architectural projection across several prominent buildings along Lydiard Street, encompassing three distinct themes relating to mid-1800s nightlife in Ballarat.

Wadawurrung Walking with Waa invites you to take a walk through time from the Aboriginal Creation Story to the present day. Aunty Marlene and her daughter Deanne Gilson will project their paintings onto the walls of Ballarat, presenting their stories that include an Aboriginal perspective of the gold mining era. Accompanying the historical walking tour, Aunty’s son Barry Gilson will sing Wadawurrung songs in the language of his ancestors.

Crate Expectations is a playful robotic sculpture made from vintage packing crates, moving furniture and disembodies limbs, performing a choreography of warped sound and sequenced lighting to draw audiences from the dark night into its warm, dreamlike glow. Crate Expectations will roll through the streets, seeking out and responding to audiences throughout the night.

More Than 1 Nation is a unique collaboration that sees the stunning patterns and colours of the Pitcha Makin Fellas’ paintings, cut outs and stamps transposed by The Electric Canvas onto the former Bank of NSW building in Ballarat, constructing a visually beautiful tale of redemption, honour, triumph and renewal.

“The decision to bring White Night to Ballarat next year is an outstanding outcome for our city,” said Mayor of Ballarat, Councillor Samantha McIntosh. “Ballarat has the history, the ambition, the creativity, the expertise and the drive to deliver an exceptional White Night event, and we are excited and honoured to be the first regional city in Australia to host the renowned event.”

White Night Melbourne and White Night Ballarat are the cities as you know them, but reimagined and transformed under the ephemeral cloak of night. From sunset to sunrise local, national and international artists, musicians and performers will weave a spell over the cities in a celebration of culture and creativity.

The event transforms the impossible into the possible through installation, lighting, exhibitions, street performances, film, music, dance and interactive events for 12 brief hours in Melbourne and Ballarat.

White Night Melbourne takes place on Saturday 18 February 2017 from 7.00pm. For more information, visit: www.whitenightmelbourne.com.au for details.

White Night Ballarat takes place on Saturday 4 March 2017 from 7.00pm. For more information, visit: www.whitenightballarat.com.au for details.

Image: Spherophyte – photo by Lorena Carrington and James McArdle