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Lighting the Sails

Sydney Opera House


Taking an iconic building on a dramatic journey through time

In 2014, 59 Productions undertook a commission from Vivid LIVE festival to create a new projected artwork for the sails of the Sydney Opera House, the city’s most visible public event.  59 Productions took the iconic building on a dramatic journey through time – from the birth of architecture and civilization through to the pinnacle of human and technological achievement.

Thronging audiences gathered across the city saw the Opera House born again, from its conception and design through the extraordinary construction process, before experimenting with an extraordinarily diverse range of surface finishes, colours and textures. Projecting the building into an imaginary future, it was then subjected to extremes of natural forces and reached a point of near-destruction, before undergoing a triumphant apotheosis, and beginning its cosmic journey once again.

The piece was covered by press all over the world, its spectacular imagery providing not just a powerful use of a vast architectural canvas, but a sense of history and place for one of the world’s most iconic structures.

Opened 2014

Sydney Opera House

‘Sydney has posed us an entirely new challenge: that of bringing an entire building to life.’


Creative Director
Leo Warner

Richard Slaney

Animation Director
Nicol Scott

Zsolt Balogh
Jarek Radecki
Ninoslav Vrana

With animation components by
Lawrence Watson
Peter Stenhouse (in memorium)

Tommy Perman

Line Producer
Akhila Krishnan

Assistant Designer
Gareth Damian Martin

Nick Corrigan

Model making
Mark Maxwell
London Mould Makers
Callprint 3D

Gareth Fry
Pete Malkin

Documentary Camera
Andrew Corrigan