OPALessence (play.with.colour) is a spectacular light art installation featuring in Vivid Sydney 2015, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest annual festival of lights, music and ideas taking place from 22 May – 8 June 2015.

Inspired by the wondrous colours and patterns of Australia’s national gemstone, the beautiful and mysterious opal, OPALessence (play.with.colour) showcases its most celebrated property – its play of colour – in vivid, iridescent patterns known as harlequin, Chinese writing, broad flash and flower garden, among others.

Where can I see OPALessence (play.with.colour)?

OPALessence (play.with.colour) will be located along the Vivid Light Walk in Sydney’s historical Rocks precinct, on the corner of 47 George St and Playfair St. The Rocks is one of Sydney's main tourist attractions, with the area settled in 1788 by the English who arrived in Australia on the First Fleet.

The light installation projects onto the side of 47 George St, a simple sandstone warehouse built c. 1840 that is the location of the former Union Bond Store. The building has State significance as it demonstrates Sydney's early to mid 19th century mercantile character associated with nearby Circular Quay, which was then Australia's principal port. 

Who created OPALessence (play.with.colour)?

OPALessence (play.with.colour) is the creative concept of Olivia Deskoski, whose family has been involved in the Australian opal industry for more than 45 years, and Amara Clarke, an award-winning lighting designer based in Sydney, NSW.

Three of Australia’s leading opal photographers contributed images for OPALessence (play.with.colour) – macrophotography specialist Robert A. Smith; globally renowned opal expert and author Len Cram; and palaeontologist and manager of the Australian Opal Centre Jenni Brammall – all based in Lightning Ridge, NSW, home of Australia’s black opal.

Why is OPALessence (play.with.colour) in Vivid Sydney?

Vivid Sydney is a hugely popular global event that offers an exciting and unique opportunity to promote opal, one of our most beautiful and precious natural assets, to an expected 1.5 million festivalgoers including overseas visitors from key international opal markets like China, Europe and the United States.

This is in addition to the approximately 1.2 billion people in more than 190 countries and territories around the world who will experience Vivid Sydney through robust media coverage in the lead up to and during the event.

2015 is the International Year of Light and the spotlight will shine even brighter on Vivid Sydney’s world famous light art installations this year, including OPALessence (play.with.colour), which will bring opal’s brilliant colour palette to life on a scale never before seen.

Who are your supporters?

OPALessence (play.with.colour) is proudly supported by Black Star Opal, the Australian Opal Centre, the Jewellers Association of Australia, Opal Cove Resort, Lots of Watts Australia and Diamonds By Design. Find out more about our supporters here.

Where can I find out more about Australian opal?

Opal gemstones, opalised fossils and the opal mining industry are fascinating topics. For more information please read this overview kindly supplied by the Australian Opal Centre, one of the world's leading opal authorities.



Images ©2015 Robert A. Smith