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Nationally renowned artist, Geoff Cobham, encourages emerging artists with newest collaboration

Written by City Reporter

Nationally renowned artist, Geoff Cobham, encourages emerging artists with newest collaboration-VIVID Chatswood

Award winning lighting and set designer Geoff Cobham is bringing his innovative and imaginative designs to life for Vivid Sydney at Chatswood’s Lightscape, an eclectic celebration of food, fashion, light, the planet and the cosmos. Geoff will transport visitors on sensory journeys to destinations across the globe and galaxy through two of the main installations, Light Market and Sky Portal.

The Adelaide artist’s collaboration with Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is a testimony to all emerging artists on finding success in the arts on a national scale. Geoff’s love for exploring powerful combinations of light, movement, colour, angle and intensity, has led him to many successful collaborations across Australia. Geoff and his company, Bluebottle, have designed creative and unconventional spaces for theatres, galleries, installations, architecture, exhibitions and music.


At Sky Portal, Geoff gives the audience the ability to see themselves in alternate realities on an over hanging giant 20m x 4m LED interactive video screen. As visitors stand underneath on a constructed green screen, cameras will combine live video feed with pre-recorded footage of destinations. As visitors look up they will be able to see themselves immersed in the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the vivid and striking underwater visuals. The installation was created in collaboration with the Great Barrier Reef Legacy, a not-for-profit organisation, which aims to protect the Great Barrier Reef through education and the operation of research vessels.

The Light Market will also take visitors on a sensory journey. The pop-up international food market constructed from scaffolding and recycled materials, collected over months from Chatswood’s recycling, will resemble an aesthetically pleasing favela. The markets’ vibrant lighting design will include Star Wars inspired lasers, lava lamps and reflective glomesh bags, which have partly been donated by the public. The space will transport visitors to the favelas of Brazil, to the spaceship of Star Wars, and even back to the 70s. The combination of creatively complex architecture, international food aromas, rhythmic beats, and interactive lighting installations will make it a sure crowd favourite. The market also leverages the Willoughby City Council’s innovative waste recovery program, Chatswood’s solar farms and Chatswood’s recycling, reflecting the council’s commitment to sustainability.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Chatswood for Vivid Sydney and to be a part of this world class event,” says Geoff. “I can’t wait to see the audience explore all corners of the Light Market and get lost in the exotic locations of the Sky Portal. Chatswood’s Lightscape is not one destination, but many.”

Geoff is experienced in bringing interactive experiences to audiences as seen in his success with Adelaide Festival’s famed ‘Barrio’ precinct. Barrio was a free late night club offering fantastical theatre experiences in an ever-changing mix of market place, bars, stages and dance floors. The popular event returned to Adelaide Festival for years after its conception in 2012. Geoff’s inspiration for Barrio was the ‘participatory theatre’ movement that swept across Europe in 2010. The success of Barrio was in the unique way it gave its audience ownership of the event. Similarly, the Light Market and Sky Portal installations also encourage this.

Geoff has been an integral part of senior management teams for The Sydney Festival, The Adelaide Festival and Womadelaide Festival. He has gained a wealth of experience working in a range of creative roles and on different scale productions. His company Bluebottle has designed numerous lighting installations and lit public artworks, buildings, landscapes and freeways.

Over the years Geoff has received an array of awards including the Ruby Award for Sustained Contribution, the Green Room Award for best lighting design for ‘Night Letters’, and Sydney Theatre Award for best lighting design for ‘Never Did Me Any Harm’.

Vivid Sydney at Chatswood runs from 5.30pm to 10.30pm every night from 25 May until 16 June 2018 and is suitable for all ages and families.

Chatswood is one of the precincts for Vivid Sydney, an annual 23-day festival of light, music and ideas, which is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is brought to you by Willoughby City Council and supported by Precinct Contributors Chatswood Interchange, Chatswood Chase Sydney and Westfield Chatswood.

For more information visit:

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas and now the largest event in Australia. For 23 days – from 25 May to 16 June 2018 – the event places a spotlight on Sydney and reinforces its position as the home of light, creativity, cutting edge music, engaging conversations and the exchange of new ideas. The festival is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency. In 2017 Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.33 million attendees and injected over $143 million into NSW’s visitor economy. For more information visit

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