Fearless women headline Vivid Sydney 2022

11 May 2022

Fearless women headline Vivid Sydney 2022

Vivid Sydney 2022 program content and images are available here.  

Vivid Sydney, the annual festival of creativity, innovation, and technology, celebrates the artistic and creative talents of women, with a strong female presence across the 2022 Light, Music & Ideas programs. 

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres acknowledged the significant and integral role women play in ensuring Vivid Sydney remains one of the most successful festivals in the world. 

“This year’s Festival is lucky to have numerous women playing critical roles right across the Vivid Sydney program. The 2022 festival is directed for the first time by Gill Minervini, who has incorporated her unique vision and perspective across the event,” Mr Ayres said. 

“Women form a huge part of the Vivid Sydney program by creating light installations, performing in music events and presenting their fresh creative thinking at an Ideas talk or workshop. Women also participate in our 800-strong volunteer program and work tirelessly behind the scenes in our production, operations and on-the-ground delivery teams.” 

Festival Director Gill Minervini added: “Vivid Sydney tells the compelling story of Sydney’s diversity, creativity and innovation, and in 2022 celebrates fearless women who form the essence of what makes our city so intriguing. From headline talent such as global storyteller Gretchen Carlson to performer Mahalia Barnes, Light artists Leila Jeffreys, Michaela Gleave and the incredible work of eight Frist Nations Martu women from the Pilbara who created the magnificent artwork, Yarrkalpa - Hunting Ground 2021 for Lighting of the Sails, there’s no doubt women play a significant role in this year's line-up.” 

Here is a snapshot of the female talent spearheading the 2022 Vivid Sydney program: 

Sarah Steel,
a writer, filmmaker and award-winning podcaster will delve into the coercive world of cults at Sects, Lies and Cults (31 May, The Great Hall, UTS). Together with panellists who have been involved with cults, Sarah will unveil the seductive power of their charismatic leaders and explain what makes one more susceptible to cult-like thinking than you realise. 

A fearless trailblazer for women’s rights, American broadcast journalist, author and television personality Gretchen Carlson will share her fascinating story with The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson. Gretchen, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, will reveal how her campaign to introduce legislation to end the silencing of harassment victims resulted in new labour laws being passed by the US Government on 3 May 2022 – the most significant in over 100 years (29 May, Sydney Town Hall). 

Brigid Delaney and Jenny Valentish, Australian authors and journalists will be unpacking the wellbeing industry at Wellmania (9 June, Australian Museum). The discussion will probe Sydney’s fixation with wellbeing: from investigating how does pseudo-scientific ‘advice’ spread through social media influencers and celebrities to Brigid’s first-hand experience in trying the latest health and wellbeing trends.  

Festival goers can be part of a powerful change-making discussion on poverty, class and trauma with Glen-Marie Frost, a corporate high-flyer with lived experience of homelessness at Falling Through the Cracks (8 June, Australian Museum). An advocate for homeless women, Glen-Marie will share the fascinating tale of falling from the heights of society and the corporate world to being homeless in a few short months. 

Love, dating and sex are changing. At Modern Love (16 June, Australian Museum) female love experts will cover the whole gamut of modern love – from hard and fast hook-ups to lonely hearts, sex-tech and even climate change stress. Australian authors Jennifer Pinkerton and Jessie Tu, will unpack intimacy amongst millennials and Generation Z, discussing what it’s like to look for love in a big city like Sydney. 

Celebrating Australia’s rich First Nations culture, the Sydney Opera House Lighting of the Sails will feature a new digital artwork, Yarrkalpa - Hunting Ground, 2021. The bold projection is inspired by the vibrant, Martumili collective painting, ‘Yarrkalpa- Hunting Ground’, Parnngurr Area, 2013, created by eight female Martu Artists of the Pilbara region.  

Visual artist Leila Jeffreys has led the creation of the fascinating installation Temple (Walsh Bay) – a monumental artwork comprising both superscale projections and sculptural elements, celebrating Sydney’s bird life. Jeffreys worked with a cinematographer and bird trainer to create this authentic artwork, comprising slow-motion films and reflection pools offering a contemplative sanctuary on the Light Walk. 

Festival goers can admire majestic cliffs of colour as they shape-shift and morph across the Museum of Contemporary Art, as part of the significant New York Sunday projection. A centrepiece of Vivid Sydney’s 2022 Light Walk, Australia’s leading abstractionist Helen Eager will transform the six-storey façade of this historic building, with an eight-minute visual journey featuring her signature geometric abstraction.  

Renowned Australian artist Michaela Gleave’s work Endless Love (Circular Quay), shares a bold declaration of love to the city of Sydney in a big, bold, colourful, glowing gesture. This superscale installation hovers over Circular Quay train station, evoking the hopes, dreams and aspirations the city inspires.  

The provocative work of US artist Marilyn Minter challenges notions of female beauty in her Smash installation (The Goods Line). Marilyn’s work questions the existing stereotypes of the female body which are ingrained in popular culture, by representing beauty beyond the polished surface often portrayed in fashion advertisements, where reality intrudes on airbrushed perfection.  

Sarah Barns is half of an award-winning creative practice Esem Projects who will be premiering their major new work, We Dream The City (The Goods Line) at Vivid Sydney. As festival-goers stroll past this epic historic tale of Sydney, they will experience a collective dreamscape of projections revealing the many ideas and innovations that have shaped the city.  

Designed by Gemma Ferguson, Tomorrows Blossoming (Darling Square) is a mass installation of light flowers, designed with the input of hundreds of Sydney primary school students. Designed to inspire the next generation of artists, inspiring them to make their own creative contributions to the world.  

For the first time ever, Vivid Sydney Supper Club (From 10pm to late on Friday and Saturday nights, Mary’s Underground), provides the perfect place for a night cap while enjoying some of the most celebrated Australian female artists. Ursula Yovich, an award-winning actor, playwright, singer, songwriter and storyteller will share an electrifying evening of songs and stories that speak of Country, culture and connection, while vocalist Emma Pask will bring Big Band swagger to the Golden Era of Jazz. 

An array of female Australian performers will take centre stage at Tumbalong Nights, Tumbalong Park (Darling Harbour), delivering free, live performances every Wednesday to Saturday night during the festival. Fabulous female talent includes Elsy Wameyo, Kee’ahn, Mi-kaisha Haiku Hands and Okenyo. Vivid Kids @ Tumbalong Park will serve up kid friendly fun with female headliners including Justine Clarke and Teeny Tiny Stevies.  

Named Next Big Thing at the FBi Awards, singer, songwriter and rapper Hinenuiterangi Tairua – aka A. GIRL will deliver sounds rooted in future-leaning RnB, soul and hip-hop at her Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House show (29 May,). A. GIRL has blown up on the local hip-hop scene with her 2020 jam ‘All Over you’, leading the new guard of young artists exploding out of Sydney’s west.  

Over at Carriageworks, the female talent includes rising AUS/US band Divide & Dissolve (3 June) with Takiaya Reed and Sylie Nehill delivering bone-crushing amps and doom metal to create colossal walls of sound. Enigmatic Welsh singer Cate Le Bon (9 June) will play an entrancing set from her new album Pompeii; and Japanese rock band Chai (10 June) will enthral audiences with their clever song writing, impressive musicianship, colourful costumes and wild energy.  

One of the world’s most forward-thinking electronic musicians, Australian glitch-pop experimentalist KUČKA is headlining her first ever Sydney Show for Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House (5 June,). With her ethereal vocals, intricately layered beats and hypnotically ambient textures, KUČKA has been recognised by superstars like A$AP Rocky, FLUME, Kendrick Lamar and SOPHIE who all collaborated on hits with her in the past. 

In a Vivid Music exclusive, legendary Australian music icon Marcia Hines will enliven audiences with The Gospel according to Marcia (9-10 June, St Stephen’s Uniting Church) in a world-premiere show for two-nights only. Marcia will be joined by a 12-piece choir and band set against an atmospheric bespoke lighting backdrop, celebrating the sounds of her gospel roots.  

Meg Mac will make her debut at Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House (18 June) and perform with her hot new single 'Is It Worth Being Sad' blowing up playlists. The Australian indie-soul powerhouse will entertain with all her hits, plus preview a selection of new music from her hugely anticipated third album, due later this year. 

For the full female Vivid Sydney line-up and to purchase tickets, go to vividsydney.com. Vivid Sydney is proudly owned, managed, and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency. 

Greg Vekiarellis, Ogilvy PR, +61 401 873 217 greg.vekiarellis@ogilvy.com.au 

About Vivid Sydney:  

Vivid Sydney is an annual celebration of creativity, innovation and technology, which transforms Sydney for 23 days and nights. Staged for its 12th year in 2022, Vivid Sydney fuses mesmerising art displays and 3D light projections with exhilarating live music performances and deep-dive discussions from some of the world’s brightest minds, as well as the Sydney Opera House Lighting of the Sails. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.  


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