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Gertrude Street projectors are on

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival lights up the night - and buildings - in Melbourne

Words and Photography: Mr LB

Science is an amazing subject to provoke creativity and curiosity. Equipment including Bunsen burners, test tubes and other science gadgets gets the kids in the door and excited to start experimenting. However, the  most used gadget is the projector. The projector would often be rolled out by a disenchanted science teacher, filling the dark room and becoming the beacon of light. Armed with transparent sheets and three-coloured felt pens, kids endure the endless science classes with little respect for the projector. It wasn’t a sight of pleasure, rather a source of utter pain and life-sucking boredom.

In March this year, I (with most of Melbourne) attended the White Night Festival. It was the first time key landmark buildings became the canvas for big bold art pieces filling them with colour and flair. My appreciation for projections soared to a new high and upon discovering the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, no second guessing was required as to whether it was worth attending.

Being in its sixth year, the festival has come a long way.  Originally starting with eight sites, the Gertrude Street Projection Festival has grown to showcase 37 sites with over 70 artists involved this year. The festival projects art illuminated over various small and large buildings throughout Gertrude Street. It doesn’t just stop with buildings, with projections in laneways, foot paths and trees – all revolving around the theme Illuminate. The festival doesn’t just end with eye-catching street projections, extending to other activities including live music, master classes and work shops at Gertrude’s Brown Couch.

Passing the various and stunning light projections, I was not only captivated with the art work being projected but the clever connection it had with the street. The yoga studio on Gertrude Street was filled with neon colours and various yoga posses. Venturing to the middle of the street, bares witness to a beady eye aimlessly taking watch over the masses below.

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is the celebration of night and light illuminating iconic buildings. Whether just passing through or purposely visiting Gertrude street at night, it’s worth stopping to appreciate the combination of science and art.

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival runs from the 19 to 28 July from 6pm till Midnight. More information about the event and exhibitions can be found here.

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