Books, Art, & Visual Culture


Writing and design by Melissa Hill, graphic designer.

Like moths to a flame...


Us humans are attracted by glowing colours, luminous shapes, the light in the darkness, aren’t we? We’re not so different to moths, being drawn from the shadows towards that which is bright and shining. Melbourne has its White Night, Hobart has its Dark Mofo, and Sydney has Vivid.

My husband and I have a tradition of going up to Sydney for the TedX event held there every year. I think they have one in Melbourne, but the Sydney one is done on a much grander scale. Therefore, we always seem to find ourselves around the harbour when Vivid is on. Every year it’s the same: I quibble with myself over whether to pack a tripod because it’s a hassle, I pack it because… well, FOMO. Then, after a long day absorbing all the amazing talks at TedX, I just want to crawl back to our nice hotel after dinner, but instead I drag my husband on a walk around Circular Quay because… well, FOMO. I always end up getting carried away with the challenge of capturing with my camera what my eyes can see, but it’s always a struggle with myself to get out there.

What is our fascination with lights? Sure, the sunrise peeking over purpled hills is a beautiful welcome to the new day, the pinpoints of light in an inky dark sky are prettier than diamonds. But we seem to react just as strongly to all our artificial illumination, creating a garish lightscape to which we flock in droves. I guess, we’re all just a little afraid of the dark.