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Highlights of the Enlighten Illuminations 2021

Home > Canberra > Exhibitions | Festivals | Free | Outdoor
by Heidi Cee (subscribe)
Explore the food, sights and events of Canberra and the surrounding regions with me. To see what I've been up to, I'm on Instagram @heids_c
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See Canberra Shine at the Enlighten Illuminations
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Harvest at the Enlighten Illuminations


On 26 March, Canberra hit the 'on' switch for the Enlighten Illuminations which will run from 8pm nightly until 8 March. As always, there is so much to see. The iconic architecture of the capital is the canvas for what is a completely digital light display this year. This means on every building you will experience motion and sound as well as the colour.

While every light display and installation at the 2021 Enlighten Illuminations has it's own magic, here is a run-down of some of the highlights of the non-ticketed venues to help you plan your Enlighten visit.

'Harvest' at the National Library

It's the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and this is the inspiration for the National Library's light show in 2021. The images are from the Library's collections. The illuminations take you on a fruity journey reflecting on the role of food in Australia's agriculture, export industries, work and leisure, and what we eat. The images of blossom laden trees are particularly pretty.

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Collector's Paradise at Enlighten


'Collector's Paradise' at the National Gallery of Australia

This work by Joan Ross is part of the Know My Name exhibition. It reflects on museums as places that keep, acquire, and classify objects and makes for a mind-bendingly bizarre set of projections. If the reaction of the crowds was anything to go by, this was a favourite. Keep a lookout for the leg of ham popping in and out of the display. The display also tackles issues of colonisation and our presence on indigenous land.

'Your Voice' at Old Parliament House

It's hard to beat the shape of Old Parliament House as a dramatic backdrop and combined with the illuminations which reflect on democracy, this is a must-see. There are a series of six illuminations on including poems, artworks and messages reflecting on the democracy theme in a playful but thought-provoking display.

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All of Us at Enlighten


'All of Us' at the Federation Ponds

The inspiration for this installation bu Graffik Paint was seeing how our community pulled together while still allowing everyone to express their own identity.

The bright, whimsical stream of fish represent individual people They move with the wind and each is hand-painted The play of lights on the fish change them: in light, the fish will shimmer, or they might instead remain in the shadows.

Other illuminations: Questacon, Parliament House, National Portrait Gallery, Sydney and Melbourne Buildings.

Other installations: Live for Love, Love Birds and Monkeying Around, Neon Rainbows and Stars, Electric Meadow.

This year, the food experiences are (free) ticketed so if you plan to eat, make sure you book a session in advance here. The illuminations and installations aren't ticketed but checking in is recommended.
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Why? To see Canberra shine
When: From 8pm nightly
Where: Various locations around Canberra
Cost: Free but some events require bookings
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