Barangaroo Delivery Authority is pleased to unveil details of Winter Camp, presented at Barangaroo for Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere. Unique to Vivid Sydney, the six-metre tall puppet Marri Dyin ("Great Woman" in Sydney local language) returns to Barangaroo, now joined by Sydney school children to share in the stories of the land and its relationship with First Nations peoples.
An exciting feast of colour and light in Sydney's waterfront precinct, the installation's centre-piece will again be the glowing, magnificent contemporary spirit Marri Dyin (pronounced "Mahr-ee Djin"). One of the largest puppets constructed in Australia, she returns this year to invite visitors to her winter camp, and to a magical bushland setting stretching down to the waterfront.
Inspired by the changing seasons, the winter camp setting will be a site where visitors can reflect on their own experiences surrounded by light and sound, enhanced by the visual narrative of puppetry. The theme is inspired by the traditional winter season migration by First Nations peoples, as they moved to the coast for shelter and food. Winter Camp will be a place to gather, reflect and honour the fact that Sydney stands on the land of the oldest continually living culture.
The installation experience will also expand to include a school of captivating, illuminated fish puppets. In a first for Barangaroo, a series of workshops will be held in the lead-up to the festival. They will be led by First Nations choreographer and dancer Albert David and will initiate Sydney school children into the story of Marri Dyin, teaching them simple puppeteering skills and basic choreography. Each performance night of Vivid Sydney, a different group of school children will join Erth's performers to puppeteer the school of fish along the waterfront, offering young people an exceptional opportunity to be part of an iconic Sydney experience, and creating a beautiful visual element dancing and moving around the Great Woman.
From Monday to Wednesday, Marri Dyin will sit in still contemplation by the crackling campfire. During Thursday to Sunday evening performances, she will once again roam the waterfront, accompanied by the school of fish, and invite visitors to join her as she prepares for the winter months ahead. As she moves through the landscape, she will invite audiences to speak the names and meanings of her surroundings in traditional language, and greet children, sharing a quiet moment of intimacy and contemplation.
Marri Dyin is not a traditional spirit, rather she is a contemporary concept; an elemental spirit intrinsically connected to the land. Her existence seeks to recognise the influence and importance of the First Nations women, including Barangaroo, who lived in Sydney prior to settlement. Marri Dyin represents their strength and spirit, and their role as providers for their people through a connection to the land and its waterways.
The artistic collaboration brings together the talents of Erth Visual & Physical Inc., Jacob Nash, Mandylights and James Brown. Combining world-class puppetry, mechanics, sound and light, the artwork and performance will be a spectacular showcase of Australian artistic innovation and creativity.
Date: 24 May – 15 June
Time: 6 – 9PM Winter Camp show
Static installation: Monday – Wednesday
Performances: Thursday – Sunday
Location: Exchange Place and Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo