Who gets to light up Sydney Opera House sails?

In a fitting tribute, John Olsen’s artworks will grace Sydney Opera House for Vivid Sydney, on the building’s 50th anniversary. But how does it fit with history?
Sydney Opera House sails illuminated for Vivid Sydney

Tonight (26 May), the lights will be turned on for Vivid Sydney – the festival of light, music and ideas that activates Sydney venues and urban locations.

Centre stage is the illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails. The sails were first used by Vivid Sydney in 2009 with Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings. Of the 11 presentations between 2009 and 2019, two have presented or incorporated the artworks and designs of Indigenous Australians.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina