On June 24 1964, the doors of the Canberra Theatre opened with a gala performance…
Do Canberrans celebrate the Winter Solstice? They do now.
On Saturday afternoon, LESS Solstice is running at the Dairy Road Precinct—a free sunset-to-sunrise program of contemplation and celebration.
From the giant bonfire that will engulf an otherwise chilly concrete roundabout to a fireside chat, stargazing, a free performance by Australian rapper Barkaa, a DJ set by Suzuki Sean Shosuke and a dawn yoga class with Flow Yoga, there is something for everyone.
Taking place just before the start of the southern hemisphere winter solstice, LESS Solstice also marks the opening of a new public artwork and place named LESS at Dairy Road.
LESS, designed by Chilean art and architecture practice Pezo von Ellrichshausen, consists of 36 concrete columns and a circular ramp that leads up to a viewing platform. The structure is populated with 6,000 individual plants of over 50 different plant species, many of which are endemic to Canberra. A small and continuous shallow stream runs through and down the structure’s columns, pooling, running and returning.
The brainchild of Molonglo, which is behind the Dairy Road development, LESS Solstice is a way to draw community together in celebration of the city and connection.
Director Nikos Kalogeropoulos said solstices were traditionally a special time of year across various religions and cultures and the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year, was a time to consider the ephemeral nature of life.
He said the performance artists were geared at “waking us all up from our seasonal slumber”.
Barkaa is a Malyangapa Barkindji woman from Western New South Wales, now living in South West Sydney on Gandangara land. Music has been part of Barkaa’s journey to express herself, the truth and issues impacting First Nations people.
She was recently awarded the 2020 PUMA Rookie Of The Year Award for Acclaim Magazine and has been listed as one of the Top 5 female rappers in Australia by ABC’s Triple J, one of 15 Sydney Rappers Ruling 2020 by Redbull and featured in GQ Magazine.
Other attractions include DJ Suzuki Sean Shosuke who will perform a set of his chill ambient music, while astrophysicist Peter Swanton will lead crowds through some stargazing. A Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay man from Mackay who gained his degree from the Australian National University, Peter has worked closely with Nobel Prize Winning Astrophysicist and ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt.
Nikos says the event is open to all, running between 4.30 and 8.30 pm. But those who like to celebrate their solstices early in the morning are free to reward themselves with a sunrise yoga session.
Of course, there will be plenty to eat and drink from Solstice Bar by Capital Brewing Co, tea from Waypoint Tea Co, or something to eat from Brod’s Food Cooked by Fire.
For more details on the night go here.