A giant puppet called Marri Dyin (pronounced “Muhr-ee Djin”) is the star of Barangaroo’s The Liminal Hour, one of the biggest puppets ever constructed in Australia. It pays tribute to the Aboriginal women who once lived around Sydney Harbour.
Meaning “Great Woman” in the Eora language, the spirit calls upon natural forces and produces light and a soundscape that mimics the Australian bush. Inspired by the cycle of regeneration, the spectacle transitions from peaceful bushland into bushfire and storm.
Operated by a team of puppeteers, Marri Dyin sits and engages with visitors. Her presence recognises the importance of the First Nations women like Barangaroo, a Cammeraygal woman who lived in Sydney before it was settled.
“When you experience this work you’ll see a mixed group of people whose combined voice affirms and honours the fact that together we stand on the land of the oldest continuously living culture,” says artistic director of Erth Visual & Physical Inc, Scott Wright, which is behind the puppet.
Erth – which has been operating for 25 years and is considered an innovator of physical and visual theatre – is collaborating with Jacob Nash, the head designer at Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney composer James Brown, and lighting and visual design company Mandylights.
Then take a short stroll to Darling Harbour where you will see the BBC Earth documentary Blue Planet II – made with Sir David Attenborough – projected on the roof of the Australian National Maritime Museum. The film about the world’s oceans runs for 12 minutes.
There’s also Fantastic Oceans, a fluorescent installation projected onto the surface of Cockle Bay. The underwater world stars giant jellyfish, spouting fountains and deep-sea creatures.
Vivid Sydney at Darling Harbour and Barangaroo (Wulugul Walk) is on from May 25 to June 16 from 6pm to 11pm every night. The Liminal Hour show runs 6pm to 9pm.