Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Enlighten 2017

The Enlighten festival (held in early March each year) has become a must see experience for us.  We are still taking the cheap option and only going to the free events - but don't feel short-changed at all.  The Parliamentary Triangle explodes with light, with colour, with music and with quirky fun. 

Last year our local Government robbed the artists who decorated the buildings by offering them 'exposure' rather than payment.  This was particularly cheap (and nasty) because none of the artists were identified.  I am glad to say that public outcry meant that this year (and I hope for all the years to come) the artists received payment.

We took two trips to the festival, and loved them both.

Settle in with a beverage of choice.  There are a LOT of photos to come.

I am going to start with the new quirky splashes of colour and whimsy which we saw on our second visit.




'Cloud' was made from discarded light bulbs, and those 'strings of rain' allowed the onlooker to turn on (or off) segments of the installation.

  
These gentlemen were wandering nearby.


These were young women on stilts wearing illuminated dresses.  I was fascinated by the way that the dress and the light made the wearer disappear...

And then on to the illuminated buildings.  I loved the way that the illuminations (which change every minute or so) on each building were a reflection of the building's purpose.  On each night we started at the National Gallery and worked our way down through the Parliamentary Triangle.

The National Gallery currently has a special exhibition, Versailles - Treasures of the  Palace.  An incredibly opulent, over the top and indulgent time for the ruling class.









We then wandered past the ever changing gum tree illuminations to the Portrait Gallery.  This year the Portrait Gallery had an interactive focus.  The public were invited to enter a photo booth and then the photos joined the others scrolling across the building (and no, we declined the offer).  It was very popular and the queues were long.




I apologise for the blurred images.  They were scrolling past faster than my fingers could cope.







The next stop was Questacon, our interactive Science and technology building.









And then to the National Library which mostly focused on Australian women (with a lovely nod to some of our indigenous achievers), and made a detour into native flora and fauna.






And the last stop of the evenings (and the post), Old Parliament House (aka The Museum of Democracy.








There really is a lot to see and do.  The crowds at this event are always pleasant too, which isn't always true of mixed gatherings.  A win.

   

127 comments:

  1. What a wonderful event Child. I would love to go.

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    1. donna baker: We missed the first one (or two) but have been back each year after we discovered it.

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  2. Thanks for another lovely tour.Perhaps next year I'll manage the trip...

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    1. dinahmow: That would be lovely. Hopefully the weather will be kinder for ballooning too.

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  3. So much colour! You live in a wonderful community.

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    1. Birdie: When we are good we are very good...

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  4. I envy your opportunities once again!

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    1. Anne in the kitchen: We are very lucky. And in festival season my 'boring' city does very well.

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  5. Yeah, a win.

    We artists have to give away a lot of our work. As though it costs nothing to produce. Our time isn't important, of course.

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    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: I know. I am really pleased not only that the Government changed its mind but that there was public outcry at ripping off the artists.

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    1. only slightly confused: It is, and there is more that we haven't yet seen (because we are cheap).

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  7. Just amazing.
    And glad the artists finally got paid. Hopefully recognized as well.

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: The artists were paid, which is a plus, but there is no overt recognition. Yet.

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  8. Visiting and viewing such incredible art displays would take days!!

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    1. Susan Kane: It could take days and days. Particularly when you realise that the illuminated buildings have much longer opening hours than usual as well. You can admire the facade and then wander inside.

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  9. Another year, I am speechless. The very first installation pictures, light bulbs, took me back several times.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: We missed Cloud the first visit and I am so glad we tracked it down. It was lovely. Whimsical and clever.

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  10. Dear EC
    What a wonderful spectacle. I particularly liked the cloud and would loved to have interacted with it.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: Isn't it wonderful? Each year as well as the illuminated buildings they feature other art. Each year I marvel.

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  11. Incredible--what a place to visit!!

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    1. fishducky: It is. I like the area anyway - being a fan of libraries and galleries, but Enlighten adds a whole new dimension.

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  12. It looks like such fun! Great photos! I love the photo booth idea, EC.

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    1. Marie Smith: The photo booth was clever. It made a heap of sense that the Portrait Gallery should be decorated with portraits, and I liked the way they framed them.

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  13. What a great event. Sometimes things work better in smaller cities. It would be overwhelmed by numbers if held here. The photo booth is a great idea and I am not surprised there was a long queue.

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    1. Andrew: I suspect that a similar even in your city or in Sydney would be a nightmare. Just the parking logistics... The photo booth was a brainwave wasn't it?

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  14. These are amazing pictures. I can only imagine being there in person. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Martin Kloess: It really is a treat, and I am glad that you enjoyed what I could share.

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  15. I thought that cloud was balloons until you said light globes, then I had a closer look. I love that green bridge.
    "..over the top and indulgent time for the ruling class"
    Just like our pollies now eh?
    I really like the Questacon building displays, that gets five stars from me.
    LOVE the Pauline Hanson caricature, it looks just like her.

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    1. River: I agree about the Pauline caricature. It was very close to the money. I always like Questacon, their illumination is often both clever and beautiful.
      Sadly, over the top and indulgent could be shorthand for almost any ruling class.

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  16. P.S. I'm glad the artists got paid this time.

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    1. River: So am I. Not least because it was in reaction to the general public's disapproval. Sometimes they do listen.

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  17. Wow! That was awesome. If that was the free stuff, what must the paid exhibitions be like. You are so fortunate to live where you do. Splendid!!!

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: There are paid exhibitions at both the zoo and the Botanical Gardens - which would be lovely. I believe you can get a meal on top of Parliament House with a good view of the other entertainment. Just the same, the freebies give us more than enough.

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  18. You got to see some much and such diversity! For me, I liked the cloud tree best of all!

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    1. Bookie: I loved Cloud too - and the very polite gentlemen who were near it (and I assume associated with it).

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  19. The cloud and rain installation is unique and fun! And the photo booth was a great interactive idea. So much to see and enjoy. Your pictures captured a great deal, but it must have been wonderful to be there in person. Glad the artists are being remunerated this year. And I see that there was even political commentary included :)

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    1. jenny_o: International political commentary even. And I laughed at rather a lot of them. I am an onlooker rather than a participant usually, but actually 'being there' with the sight, the sounds, the scent and the excited hum of the crowd is lovely.

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  20. I was tricked into thinking the Cloud was balloons, too! It was wonderful to see these displays through your eyes, EC - so different and interesting. Thank you for taking the trouble to share them.

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    1. Alexia: Thank you. A good part of the 'trouble' in sharing was deciding what not to include. As usual I went overboard.

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  21. I remember this event from your post last year. Truly amazing. Loved the dresses especially, look like lit up ceramic vases, beyond cool! Glad they decided to pay the artists, can't imagine the amount of painstaking work each installation must entail from concept to execution.

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: I hope to go next year too. The dresses were incredible and the colour changed too. You are so right about the inspiration and perspiration each installation would have required. I suspect the artists are still underpaid, but glad that they received some financial recognition.

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  22. I'm fascinated by all this light art and specially liked the first three images on your blog post. Thanks for drawing my attention to this amazing form of art.

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    1. Kalpanaa M: Welcome and thank you. I am always open to having my artistic boundaries stretched and loved the light art. Ephemeral magic.

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  23. really amazing and colorful. I would love to see such things. I like the lightbulb tree, for instance, and can't stop thinking about it.

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    1. Strayer: Wasn't it lovely? And it wasn't children who were most intrigued with the lightbulb art but adults. Many couldn't stop turning lights on and off.

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  24. Thank you for this feast for my eyes. I'm particularly amused by the last shot.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: I liked that one too. And the fourth from the last features him again - and one of our right wingers who made a practise of being photographed in budgy smugglers. Eeeeuw.

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  25. Color me sooo envious! So much to see and do there and spectacular too. I'm relieved that they decided to pay the artists for their efforts. Let's hope the knuckleheads in charge have learned their lesson from the debacle.

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    1. River Fairchild: We can hope that the knuckleheads have learnt, but they definitely fall into the slow learner class.
      It really is a spectacular festival. I am so glad we discovered it.

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  26. This looks like a fascinating event. My favorite? The light bulbs.

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    1. Olga Godim: I liked most of it - but Cloud was a particular favourite.

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  27. Really like the light bulbs but they to me look like balloons.
    All is lovely to see, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: You are not alone. Lots of people see the balloon resemblance.

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  28. The young ladies in illuminated dresses are perfect

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    1. Gosia k: They were really impressive stilt walkers too.

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  29. Fabulous, and for free. We have street light events here occasionally. I went to a London one in Regent's street last year. Photos don't do it justice as the scale and submergence doesn't get captured. Lucky you.

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    1. Anna of the Mutton Style and Years: It would require a more skilled photographer and better equipment to do it justice - but I had fun trying.

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  30. Amazing! All of it. And I'm so glad the artists were paid this year.

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    1. Lynn: I think we are all glad that the artists were paid. It also means that I can enjoy the spectacle without feeling guilty, and a part of the rip-off.

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  31. Oh, E.C. if I ever get a chance to visit your country I want to do so during the Enlighten Festival. Your photos are fascinating. If this is the cheap way to go I can't image what you would see if you went the other route. Just amazing. Thanks so much for sharing these with us.

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    1. Mason Canyon: It is a delightful time of year. Lots of festivals, lots of colour. Magic.

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  32. Wow, that was such a treat! thank you so much for sharing that with us. I'd never seen anything like it before. I think I liked "Cloud" the best...although those illuminated dresses that made the wearer disappear were pretty cool too.Jacqueline would have loved that.

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    1. Carolyn McBride: She would have loved it wouldn't she? And the live music, and the atmosphere, and the colour, and, and, and...

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  33. How fabulous! I think I remember this from previous years, but it sure is spectacular, and your pictures brought it all to life for me. Thank you so much. :-)

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    1. DJan: Every year is different, every year is a joy.

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  34. Wow. I just love Enlighten. And the clouds. I love the clouds, especially that it could change. What an awesome event.

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    1. mshatch: We are so glad we discovered it a few years ago. I don't often go out after dark (after dark is bedtime) but I will happily make an exception for this event.

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  35. Sounds like an interesting and wonderful event. Loved the images. There should be more...

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    1. Sienna Smythe: It really is a great spectacle. Something for almost everyone.

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  36. That was so wrong not to pay the artists. Did they even pay for their supplies? My daughter is an artist and I know their supplies are salty. I can't begin to imagine the cost of painting buildings.

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    1. Sandra Cox: Last year I don't think they paid for anything. The art is projected onto buildings so the original art-work isn't 'building sized' but it won't have been cheap. And it was a 'cheap act' by the Government not to pay for the work. I am glad they admitted the error.

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  37. After doing some editing...here I am, visiting your blog and I feel refreshed!!!

    I don't know HOW people can think that 'exposure' will pay the food and light and school and medical bills for creative people.

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    1. neena maiay (guyana gyal): I hope your editing is going really well. You will get no arguments from me about the 'wrongness' of not paying artists. They said it was encouragement for 'emerging artists' but the emergers need food and shelter just as we all do.

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    1. Bob Bushell: We said more than a few wows too.

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  39. I enjoyed this so much. I think the exhibits are amazing. Thank you for taking all these pictures.

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    1. Myrna R.: I am glad you enjoyed coming along for the ride. And there are many more photos too.

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  40. Dear EC, what a great treat this is! Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of this marvellous event. I loved the tree of lights and the illuminated dresses but it's all spectacular, and so clever.

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    1. Carol: I am in awe at the artistic imagination and the perserverance in getting the ideas to fruition. And grateful.

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  41. What a cool festival! I love the tree of lights. I hope they continue the festival so I can make plans to visit some year.

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    1. M Pax: I hope they do continue it, and suspect they will. I love it - and it is different each year.

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  42. Thank you for the awesome tour of the event. The photos are spectacular and felt like I was right there.

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    1. Rasma Raisters: How I wish I could have shared it in reality.

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  43. Love the beautiful light tour. Wish we had something like this. My favorite: the light bulb clouds

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: 'Cloud' was clever. And fun.

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  44. You manage to see it all and they you are so very kind to share:-) Thank you.

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  45. I just can't get over that cloud. It's amazing!

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    1. Sandra Cox: It was lovely, and the interactive element added a heap of fun to it.

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  46. This is such an incredible treat for the eyes! I really do envy you such a spectacle, the Clouds, the array of images, what a shame you weren't up on the wall too in the end eh?! Great to know you were there having fun, and thank you for taking us along. X

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    1. All Consuming: I am quite happy not to have featured on the wall. I don't like looking at myself and wouldn't inflict it on the wall.
      It is a wonderful outing though. Tiring, but wonderful.

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  47. Well that is a fun event! I can see why you don't feel shortchanged. I love that the lightbulbs could turn on and off!! Hurrah that the artists got their credit this year!

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    1. mail4rosey: As a free event it is incredible. I am very, very grateful to have the opportunity to marvel each year.

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  48. Oh my gosh! That is the coolest thing I have ever seen. So many wonderful photos that I was looking real close at them. The cloud one is my favorite but I really like them all. What a great place you live in.

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    1. Ginger Dawn Harman: I loved rather a lot of it. It runs for two weeks and I suspect that if I went every night I would still be finding new joys at the end of the last night.

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    2. I can't wait to travel to Australia now!

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    3. Ginger Dawn Harman: I hope you can.

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  49. Cloud is a most interesting work of art. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: Thank you. My heart goes out to your country today.

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  50. I really like these light art events (although I have never actually been to one, just seen photos)
    They can showcase so much interesting art and to a wider audience than other types of show.
    I am another one who is fascinated by "cloud" but it's all good

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    1. kylie: They do showcase art, and since the art gallery, the library, the portrait gallery and Questacon are open for longer hours they may tempt people inside. A win.

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  51. Wow, such a neat series of photos. I am going to go through them one more time before I leave. Thanks for sharing them.

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  52. great photos... I guess they have a similar event in Sydney but the crowds have put me off going here..

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    1. Anna: Sydney and Melbourne. And the crowds would keep me home too. Even in Canberra, the crowds it attracts are out of my comfort zone.

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  53. Very interesting artwork, my mind was wandering in all directions. The clouds really caught my eye and I can feel a poem starting to surface about clouds.

    Clouds we wear them well

    so much symbolism in clouds...

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    1. Truedessa: I would LOVE to read your poem about clouds.

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  54. Wow - what a spectacular show of light! I love those clouds.

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  55. Hello E C!:) I'm glad the artists got paid what was surely due to them, and what beautiful and unique
    artwork. Never seen anything like he cloud and falling rain before, just stunning! Everything is so colourful and brightly lit and as an artist, I'm just buzzing looking at all colourful exhibits at this awesome event. Well done with the photography, and thanks for sharing everything, including the luminous green fence.:=)

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    1. Breathtaking: Welcome and thank you. Having just been over to visit you I am in awe at your photography.

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  56. Hi EC - amazing inspiring event - love the photos you've shown us ... so much to see - no wonder you go as often as you can. Glorious - yes something I'd love to go along to ... just need to get to the other side of the world! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I hope that some day you can get to this side of the world. For Enlighten, and for other things.

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  57. Such fascinating photos! Glad you were able to attend twice and it is wonderful that there are free events offered to the public. How sad that the artists didn't get paid last year, but I am glad that changed this year.

    Love seeing all the interesting sights. Must be even more spectacular in person. Fascinating for sure. :)

    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: Thank you. It is a wonderful even, and you are right it is both fascinating and spectacular.

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  58. I think it's wonderful the city of Canberra retains a country vibe.

    The city certainly gives you much to see and enjoy.

    And I hope you continue to enjoy the week ahead, EC. Cuddles to Jazz. :)

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    1. Lee: I like the country vibe too. I really couldn't live in some of our bigger cities. Or not happily.
      I hope you have a wonderful week - and am sure that your furry friends will.

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  59. What a wonderful lights. I would hope that we would have also something like this.

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    1. orvokki: I would like everyone to have something like this.

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  60. Ooo, what do you call that red and black bird?

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    1. John Wiswell: The bird I think you mean (next post not this one) is a crimson rosella. Beautiful things and surprisingly feisty. They are quite small, but happy to challenge bigger birds to get the food they want.

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  61. How stunning! I love the 'clouds' and those illuminated dresses, fascinating. About the blurs you mention - I have a photographer friend who tries to create images that imply wind and your tree looks like it does that perfectly

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    1. Kim: Thank you. I like the positive slant on a less than wonderful photo.

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