Power Plant at Royal Tasmania Botanical Gardens

Click the thumbnail for photo gallery

We were so enthralled with “Power Plant” that we went twice! This is part of Ten Days on the Island, staged March 26 through April 9 rambling through the grounds of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. The light and sound installation is beyond our descriptive powers, so you will find that our photo/video captions are a bit feeble. These installations were created by Mark Anderson, Anne Bean, Jony Eastserby, Ulf Mark Pedersen and Kirsten Reynolds.

It was seriously challenging to photograph Power Plant (no tripods, no interference with footpaths). So we didn’t take our SLR and made do with the little Canon S95. The superior dynamic range of the SLR would likely have dealt better with the Pyrophones at the lilly pond.

It was most enjoyable walking in the dark, following little lights along the pathways, winding our way throughout this magnificent garden, surrounded by enormous trees, many lit from below thus increasing their magnificence. The artists had “wired” the gardens in most original ways, enhancing the existing plants, and creating new “electronic plants” out of lights. They set curious and wonderful musical instruments in the garden. And these played music which boomed and echoed in a pleasant way from distant speakers throughout the gardens, forming a background of pleasant and harmonious sounds to accompany the lights. Kaleidoscope images of live garden snails surrounded by leaves and flowers were projected onto a screen with changing colors and lighting. Lighted, ringing glass bells, made from inverted Czechoslovakian glass funnels hung from a tree in tonal groups, playing and lighting up in unison. The visual crescendo came as we approached the duck/water lily pond, where “spouts” of flame played from bowls, each with its own musical pitch. We watched for a long time, tapping our feet to the fire music and water reflections.

There are some professional photos by the Sydney Festival at Sydney’s Chinese Garden: Power Plant at Sydney Festival.

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