Living Mural transforms Sydney Opera House

As part of the annual Vivid Sydney festival the huge ‘sails’ of the Sydney Opera House are transformed into an artist’s canvas. This year, a project conceived by UK studio Universal Everything completely illuminates the building with a 15-minute animation sequence made by 22 different artists…

Living Mural was unveiled around an hour ago (at 6pm Sydney time – check Twitter for images of the project as it’s happening live), and has already seen the Opera House display a round of some 31 hand-drawn animations designed by a group of international artists and studios.

Photo via Syd Cove Oyster Bar (@SCOysterBar)


Universal Everything developed a ‘narrative’ comprised of the different 30-second ‘sequences’ – each one, says the studio, is described in a keyword such as ‘float’, ‘spin’, ‘ twist’ or ‘ricochet’.

Twenty-two artists each then responded to a specific sequence, with sound designer and regular Univeral Everything-collaborator, Freefarm, creating a bespoke audio soundtrack for the 31 scenes.

This video gives an idea of what the animations look like live – while a full list of all the animators involved is at the bottom of the post:


The installation will run for three weeks as part of the Vivid LIVE series of music events which take over the Opera House – the centrepiece of the Vivid Sydney festival of “light, music and ideas” – until June 8. Universal Everything were commissioned by Sydney Opera House Trust as the guest artist for this year’s ‘Lighting The Sails’ event.

A free exhibition on studio’s 11-year career to date is also being held at the Western Foyer of the Opera House.

Vivid Sydney is managed by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency and features light installations, projections, music performances and multiple artistic collaborations. For more information visit



Creative direction/concept: Universal Everything, Sheffield, UK

Creative Director: Matt Pyke

Animation Director: Chris Perry

Sound Designer: Simon Pyke / Freefarm –

Producer: Greg Povey

Animation sequences:

01, Block: Universal Everything

02, Burst: Patch d. Keyes – UK

03, Fill: Drew Tyndell – US

04, Chase: Tymote – Japan

05, Multiply: Nicolas Ménard – Canada

06, Climb: Parallel Teeth – New Zealand

07, Rise: KClogg – Russia

08, Twist: Matt Scharenboich – US

09, Wind: Váscolo – Argentina

10, Swarm: Universal Everything

11, Calm: Zutto – Russia

12, Float: Cindy Suen – Hong Kong/US

13, Power: Masanobu Hiraoka – Japan

14, Slide: Ori Toor – Israel

15, Spin: Ori Toor

16, Wave: Váscolo

17, Construct: DXMIQ – Russia

18, Growth: DXMIQ

19, Flow: Ruff Mercy – UK

20, Scatter: Caleb Wood – US

21, Shrink: Bee Grandinetti – Brazil

22, Noise: Takcom  – Japan

23, Attack: MixCode – Taiwan

24, Boom: nöbl – – France

25, Bounce: Matt Abbiss – UK

26, Ricochet: Matt Frodsham – UK

27, Splash: Guille Comin – Spain

28, Bang: Universal Everything

29, Embrace: Matt Frodsham

30, Melt: Caleb Wood

31, Stripe: Matt Abbiss