Violin and bow, theatrical props, polystyrene/fibreglass, designed by Eamon D'Arcy, made by Gustavo Balboa, Clint Tagoe, Charles Gillespie and Jamie Gill at the Ceremonies workshop, used in the 'Arrivals' segment of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Sydney 2000
Designed by Eamon D'Arcy, the polystyrene violin and bow were one of several musically inspired props to feature in 'Arrivals' - a theatrical segment in the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games. Together, they represented the cultural traditions that arrived in Australia through European migration. With green paint and glitter details, the violin and bow complemented performers' costumes and made direct reference to the green Olympic ring - a symbol of the European continent. Dressed in green and white satin, harlequin characters carried the polystyrene instruments onto the arena and pretended to play them throughout the segment.
Described by the NSW premier Bob Carr as 'the greatest spectacle Australia has produced', the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games took place at Stadium Australia, Homebush Bay on Friday 15 September 2000. Though the ceremony featured anthems, speeches, oaths, flags, pop singers and a marching band, its daring conceptual sequences ('Deep Sea Dreaming', 'Awakening', 'Nature', 'Tin Symphony', 'Arrivals' and 'Eternity') will be remembered as the major imaginative works. Each segment commenced without interruption, following on from the last to form an overall narrative. The purpose was to project a national image to a worldwide audience, to form the world's vision of Australian culture. This image embraced tolerance, social progress, multiculturalism and reconciliation, as well as nature, history and creativity. Designed to stimulate emotional responses from the audience, these segments delivered a refreshing mixture of youth, naivety and larrikinism.
Directed by Lex Marinos, the 'Arrivals' segment looked at Australia's history of migration. A joyful and powerful celebration of multiculturalism, it comprised floats representing five continents with costumed dancers symbolising new arrivals. These represented all the cultures, races, creeds and religions that are now part of the Australian nation. The groups cascaded into the arena in the order Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania - the five regions that are symbolised by the Olympic rings. Huge masks and spectacular costumes were displayed within those groups. The costumes were designed by Jenny Kee (Africa, Americas), Lisa Ho (Asia), Peter Morrissey (Oceania) and Norma Moriceau (Europe). The climax saw the arrivals join together to form a giant human mosaic. Then they dispersed, leaving behind a large crowd of 2000 children, symbolising Australia's hope for a future of tolerance and understanding.
Designer, Eamon D'Arcy, developed the polystyrene instruments in Sydney in early 2000. Initially, he considered purchasing inexpensive instruments to use as props though later decided to make replicas that could be painted and decorated to suit the segment. Made from polystyrene and polyester resin, the props were lightweight and simple to style.
Gustavo Balboa, Clint Tagoe, Charles Gillespie and Jamie Gill made the polystyrene instruments in 2000 at the Ceremonies Workshop at Eveleigh. The polystyrene bodies were cut and carved to shape and coated with a polyester resin. Green lacquer and glitter were applied to the surface and reflective tape was attached to simulate strings.
The green, polystyrene instruments were used as theatrical props on the 'Europe' float, part of the 'Arrivals' segment in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. The ceremony was held at Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park, on 15 September 2000.
Made for and owned by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and donated to the Powerhouse Museum after the Games.