All you need to know about the Enlighten installations

18 February 2020

The architectural projections are truly spectacular at Enlighten Illuminations but have you heard of the unsung heroes of the event?

The installations offer a chance for guests to interact and be fully immersed in a neon wonderland. Read on to see what is in store for your Instagram feed this year.

Neon Archway

A large eight arched color-changing archway designed for people to walk through and take photos with.

The Neon Archway, by Carla O’Brien, is a colour changing archway designed for people to snap that perfect photo. The 3 metre high x 2.5 metre wide 8 arched metal structure has lengths of colour changing LED Flex attached that flash at various speeds in patterns of a magnificent rainbow.

Neon Night Garden

Inside the Neon Night Garden, by Carla O’Brien, are all things you might find in a garden – palm trees, flowers, butterflies, umbrellas on a rainy day, and even a flamingo. Located around the Enlighten Illuminations precinct you will also discover balloons, hearts, and baby wings, all waiting for the perfect Instagram pic.

Monsters Love You! (But Might Eat You…)

Nobody ever said it would be easy being an 80s rock star monster with a penchant for Dino Treats and Monster Soda… GAS Artists Maurice and Matt go to town creating a whimsical throw-back to a time when the best tech was a big boom box and some rad neon.

The monsters show us the power of friendship and inclusion. In an era where technology is causing more isolation, this fun retro flash back reminds us that underneath our blue skin and three horns, we all need to be accepted and loved.

Sal the Snail

Sal the Snail is a whimsical interpretation of the humble garden snail created by Pineapple Design Studio and Chimera Atelier. The 8m long x 4m tall geometrically illustrated snail is inflatable and illuminated internally. When night falls, he illuminates in vivid colours.

Bloom, presented by the National Capital Authority

An epic landscape of giant, illuminated Australian gum nuts and gum nut flowers, by the Indirect Object, were inspired by the ‘Fairy Floss’ flowering gums (native to south west Western Australia). Like the soft pinks of the Fairy Floss blossoms, our giant flowers glow pinks, golds and salmons at night, and are white during the day. Each flower is illuminated inside, and has its own unique soundscape inspired by the Australian bush. The giant gum nuts are designed for 1 adult or 2 children to sit inside.


Also by the Indirect Object, Chromatica is a 6.7m long interactive kaleidoscope reminiscent of the classic childhood kaleidoscope. 6 large octagonal wheels stand between 2 x l m long mirror prisms, turning the wheels creates endlessly changing colour patterns. Chromatica uses recycled materials where available. The wooden stands for the wheels and viewers are made from recycled red gum fence posts. The colour wheels are decorated in a shifting pallet of reflective and translucent recycled materials set in resin or sandwiched inside sheets of clear polycarbonate.

Light Chimes

The Light Chimes, by Indirect Object, are a flexible, large-scale interactive music installation. The Chimes are played through bespoke touch boards of 10 notes, arranged as a map of the chimes. Touching a chime in the touch board produces an instant light and sound response in the installation. The Light Chimes can be played by crowds to produce a sonic cloud of notes (like wind chimes), or played by a musician.


Become part of the conversation in this interactive installation created by the University of Canberra.

Mini Beasts

Extending the installation journey outside the Enlighten Precinct, Canberra Centre has installed three “Mini Beasts” across the centre that react to movement with light, sound and brilliant colour. These insects stand up to 4 metres in height so make sure you take the time to interact with the Neon Cuckoo Bee, Cicada and Swallowtail Butterfly until the 25th March. Plus, on the 5th and 12th March Canberra Centre has partnered with the National Zoo to run a meet and greet session with some of the zoo’s favourite reptiles. You will find them between 11am-2pm on the Ground Level, outside R.M. Williams.