Glow Winter Arts Festival is beloved by those who live nearby – and it’s well worth a journey to Malvern East’s Central Park for those who live a little further. Running from Thursday July 18 to Sunday July 21, the free event encourages everyone to rug up and get out of the house this winter.

This year is the festival’s 10th annual event featuring a range of interactive installations and luminescent art by a selection of Australian artists that push boundaries across technology, scale or concept. Here’s what you can expect on this year’s program.

Ephemeral Collection by Atelier Sisu

Sydney-based and award-winning design studio Atelier Sisu’s work sits at the intersection of art and architecture. It’s led by Peruvian sculptor and industrial designer Renzo B. Larriviere and architectural designer and artist Zara Pasfielf. The pair reinvent spaces with large-scale works.

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For their Victorian debut at Glow Festival, the Ephemeral Collection is a showcase of inflatable-looking bubbles. Colour-reflecting dichroic film reacts with light, causing an iridescent effect across each bubble’s surface. There are a range of sizes; some are just one metre and the largest installation is a16-metre-wide cluster. The work taps into the ethereal nature of bubbles, and our childlike wonder of them while prompting us to consider the transience and fragility of the world. It’s inspired by the way the world stopped in 2020.

Encircled Enlightenment and Delicate Deliberations by Skunk Control

Skunk Control is a group known for creating immersive experiences using large-scale colour, light and elements of whimsy. It uses technology to create its works, encouraging the public to lean into the immersive nature of the work to make their own discoveries. For this year’s Glow Winter Arts Festival, it has created two site-responsive exhibits.

Encircled Enlightenment features 42 bulbous flowers rising from a waterbed. Reaching up to three metres, the flowers illuminate and change, each inlaid with optical filters that cast deep and vibrant colours around them. The flowers evolve at different times, encouraging the audience to lean into enlightenment and delight. Delicate Deliberations is a display of over 1000 flowers. The work is inspired by the idea that every decision results in a new timeline, creating a complex system of junctures – much like the root junctures of plants.

Choosing Paradise by Maurice Goldberg

Choosing Paradise is a 14-metre-high inflatable sculpture that challenges the audience to imagine their ideal future, along with a utopian world. Maurice Goldberg’s dramatic form features a soundscape by musician and composer Joe Scerri (aka Lake Lustre), and video throughout its torch-like tail by interdisciplinary artist Andy Forbes.

The work is a large inflatable structure depicting a vivid dreamlike sculpture. With multiple eyes and a central bridge for viewers to walk under, the audience is invited to question how they want their future to look.

Hexadeca by Pulsing Heart

The Hexadeca music-making playground turns the audience into conductors. Take a seat in one of the glowing buckets, and spin. The motion activates parts of a musical score and the LED lights within each seat. The complete musical score comes together only once every seat is spinning, so expect full audience participation. It’s the work of Joren Dawson and Jascha Boyce from Pulsing Heart, a South Australian creative studio that tours large-scale installations that require community participation.

Eat and drink

At Glow Winter Arts Festival you can expect a solid selection of food and drinks to keep warm while you wander around. Toasted Toasties is serving grilled sourdough sandwiches, and Rockin’ Donuts and Coffee is doing doughnuts, milkshakes and spiders. For something extra, Big Shot Cafe and Bar is serving whiskey hot chocolates and mulled wine out of its 1969 Citroen HY. You can also head out for dinner or a nightcap somewhere nearby after you’ve finished at the festival. We’d suggest hitting up Lulu, Milton Wine Shop or Grazia.

*This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with City of Stonnington. Glow Winter Arts Festival is open 5pm to 10pm Thursday July 18 and Sunday July 21, and 5pm to 11pm Friday July 19 and Saturday July 20.