Vivid Sydney, the much-loved annual festival of lights, music and innovation, has once again come to life in Sydney’s CBD. This year, ideas and artwork have focused on humanity’s relationships with nature – be it the world’s or our own – and this has brought forth a variety of creative explorations around human nature, health and wellbeing.

From the 26th May to 17th June, Vivid Sydney will illuminate the heart of the city with light installations, live music, food and discussion. On the extensive event list are several panels centred around health and wellbeing, where anything from healthy eating to neurodivergence, mental health to love and sexuality, are approached with honest and innovative new perspectives. Below is a quick overview of each event, should you like to explore them yourself.

Nourishing Health

10th June, 11:00am – 12:15pm

An eye-opening re-framing of food as more than simply physical sustenance, but an important experience and means of achieving mental and social wellbeing, in particular for the aged population.

Bloody Taboos

11th June, 1:30pm – 2:45pm

From the realities of motherhood to mental health to menopause, this all-women panel boldly discusses topics that are usually ‘taboos’ to speak about in society, but are really natural and everyday parts of human life.

Skin Deep

13th June, 6:30pm – 7:45pm

A conversation about the changing standards of beauty and cosmetic expectations, set against a modern backdrop of online media, different cultures and generations, and racial and gendered prejudices.

How to Grow Old Well and Try Not To Die

15th June, 12:30pm – 1:45pm

Various experts on ageing come together to tackle the mystery of how to grow old well, especially in a world where science seeks to oppose the natural process of ageing and death.

Neurodivergence: Diagnosis Normal

15th June, 6:30pm – 7:45pm

Drawing from personal experiences, two writers explore the clarity that came with being diagnosed as neurodivergent, along with the misconceptions and challenges that delayed such diagnoses until later in life.

Good Mourning – A New Way to Think about Grief

17th June, 12:30pm – 1:45pm

A refreshingly open and forthright talk about the grief that follows death – a topic which is often left painfully and counter-productively untouched, but deserves a new, more honest approach.

Perv: The Kink in All of Us

17th June, 3:30pm – 4:45pm

A frank, funny and thoughtful discussion about attraction and sexual behaviours in humans; this will challenge what we consider ‘normal’ and shamelessly explore the kink that lives in, perhaps, all of us.

Monogamy: The Natural Way to Love?

17th June, 6:30pm – 7:45pm

A hilarious yet insightful comedy debate between monogamous and non-monogamous members alike, who together will peel apart the question of whether monogamy truly is the natural way to love.


Although in-person visits are now sold out, it is also worth noting the beautiful and brilliant What We Can Learn from Nature: Australian Museum x Vivid Ideas, Coming to our Senses: An Immersion in Nature and Coming to our Senses: An Immersion in Architecture events which seek to immerse us more deeply and mindfully in our surroundings, and through this gain a better understanding of both the world and ourselves.

Of course, if ticketed events aren’t quite for you, the majority of the light walks and live music are free to wander through from 6pm onwards as well. With many pieces focusing on nature, sustainability, underrepresented voices and human experiences, they are sure to give food for thought about our place in the world and how we can live in a way that improves the wellbeing of all of us.


Feature image: Kehn Hermano
Article by Jessie Zhou