“My co-songwriter Alyx said the sound should last seven years because we have seven years to make a change before the change is irreversible.”
The practice of Brincat has long been associated with cloth. She has spent years collecting old parachutes, a lightweight, durable material that he dyes and re-sews into moving sculptures.
She and Giblin spent six months “hunched over” in Brincat’s Carriageworks studio experimenting with color and planning for size and shape before cutting, staining and sewing the final work. Made of silk divided into two 190-square-meter sections, it features spiral motifs inspired by the tiles of the Opera House.
“I don’t think anyone has ever done anything like this,” she says. “There is no pattern. It is so big that it took up almost the entire studio space. But silk is light. It’s like magic because it’s very hard, harder than people imagine and that’s why they used to make sails and parachutes with it.
“We were in the pouring rain this week on the steps of the Opera House practicing the work and the material was going up and down. He was soaking wet and still went up, up, up.”
During years of experimentation, Brincat’s fascination with vibrant hues also spawned new colors for the work, including an original take on pink.
“The interior of the Opera House was originally supposed to be very colourful,” she says. “It’s nice to know I’m giving it some color.”
Audience members are invited to join the performance installation by holding ribbons attached to All the fff of Presto edges as you travel through the steps. A group of manipulators, including Brincat, will grab the edges of the fabric, pull it up to catch the wind and billow skyward against the pale sails of the Opera House.
“The fabric is almost like a traditional music sheet that the drummers will play and respond to,” she says. “The cloth is made to be the main instrument, or performer, and the percussionists play and read their music.”
She hopes that Vivid’s ability to attract a wide range of visitors and audience members will mean that more people take a deeper look at how the planet’s climate is changing.
“I always say that art is my first language and English is my second,” she says. “Maybe people will see the work and leave. They may never think about it again. I just want them to experience something that is alive in the city, something that brings people back together after so long apart.”
All soon fff screens June 3-4 on the steps of the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House.
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