One of the great events brought to Tasmania for our Ten Days on the Island festival was the sound, light and music show, Power Plant. It was a series of installations arranged throughout the Gardens featuring work by artists from the United Kingdom.Mark Anderson was the leading artist and several of his works included occasional bursts of fire and smoke not to mention flashes of light and strange sounds. His bursts of fire emanating from the pond were fantastic but I did worry about the ducks and have been reassured that they were moved for the duration of the show. My favourite was Floris Fluctuation described in the programme as “a dazzling display of spinning, flickering changing colours and a song of electronic excitement.” It looked like a mass planting of those coloured windmills that children buy at agricultural shows, but windmills that changed colours and patterns like a kaleidoscope.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was terrific to see so many families taking the opportunity to walk around the Gardens at night, (a first for me) and to enjoy interesting plays of light patterns on bushes, trees and buildings. As part of the crowd, I was delighted to overhear so many children asking questions of their patient parents about how things worked and also making up stories of ghosts and magic.It was a wonderful coming together of open minds, a traditional Botanical Garden, 21st century artwork and technology. The work was originally commissioned by University of Oxford Botanical Garden and was shown in the Sydney Festival before giving us a boost here in Hobart.
Thanks to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and the Ten Days festival for use of their photos.