This year, Glow Winter Arts Festival drew on the theme of ‘metamorphosis’ and was spread across two major locations – Prahran Square and Central Park.

Prahran Square showcased a number of installations including new work from Resolution X collaborators Jamie Russell, David Bartholomeusz and Kait Hall titled Now Breathe. The Square was transformed into a living, breathing organism through the interplay of high-spec lighting tubes and a soundscape of over 250 recordings of human and animal breaths.

Central Park in Malvern East showcased these five engaging illuminations by renowned local artists every night:

Taking Flight by Carla O’brien was a Neon Hot Air Balloon Experience. Flight is invigorating. Flight is liberating. From the beginning of time, it has been the stuff of human dreams; the rainbow serpent; the magic carpet ride; the glider; the hot air balloon. Flight is freedom, adventure and beauty. Flight is seeing our earth and in turn seeing ourselves from a different vantage point. It is the ultimate expression of human achievement, of endeavour, of metamorphosis. For when we change where we are, we often change ourselves.

After every storm there is a rainbow. Sky Castle by Eness was a dreamy, interactive sound and light installation that featured a cluster of inflatable arches spanning in colourful symphony across public space. As we moved through the arches, our movement powered and progressed the melodic xylophone soundscape stimulating colour changes in each arch. Light, colour and music were orchestrated to evoke the joy and hope that rainbows bring after every storm. As more people joined the journey the lush contemporary score would crescendo in intensity.

The Overbloom by Mandylights told us that the notion of metamorphosis is captured in nature itself – the ebb and flow of growth and decay, dependent on the shift of seasons and sunlight. The heightened moment of full bloom is always sought after and awaited. However, it is but a moment in the journey of growth and transformation. As the sun set, the iconic fountain at Central Park was engulfed by 1,000 glittering small flowers embedded into the gardens, trailing to a giant flower alight in its glory. The Overbloom sought to capture the beauty of the full bloom in a celebration of physical scale. In a mass of numbers and size, The Overbloom reflected the joy in growth, the pleasure of the journey and the pause to capture a moment of anticipation and astonishment.

Cautionary Note by Michael Doolan came alive in an accumulation of contradictions… prompting us to ask; is the protagonist mourning the sudden loss of a woodland companion or lamenting its failed attempt to fly? Is the bird simply another example of our environmental concerns, or is it about to magically assume a new and unexpected identity?  This scene and its highly charged colouration presented an overwhelming feeling of “now”. Its immediacy was like the single cell from a stop action movie suddenly arrested at its key junction or a fairy tale illustration that sets the keynote for what is about to unfold. However, Cautionary Note’s narrative remained intact. It invoked its own fiction as it immersed its viewers in an abundance of outcomes. We were asked, “can we bring this scenario to its rightful conclusion?’.

And suddenly the Monolith appeared. Venerable and towering; quietly providing for optimistic contemplation and reflection whilst itself undergoing a constant and visible metamorphosis. This was no quiet invasion but an invitation to explore, to discover and look into a world that like ours is in flux and constant change, yearning for resolution and seeking insight.

Monolith by Skunk Control invited us to explore, reflect and gather our thoughts in a world where change never abates. Life is full of transitions with moments of revelation, insights and consequences; a constant metamorphosis of thoughts and actions.

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City of Stonnington acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we stand, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people, and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.


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