Performance costume, 'Harp Lady', fabric/polystyrene/fibreglass, designed by Norma Moriceau, made by the Ceremonies Costume Department, used in Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games, Sydney, 2000
This costume titled Harp Lady was designed by Norma Moriceau and is inspired by the harp. It appeared as part of the Europe float in the Arrivals segment of the Olympic Opening Ceremony held on September 15, 2000.
The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games was comprised of three major sections: the mandatory formalities and protocol sections, the cultural display and the entrance of the athletes. Within the cultural display, there were eight segments titled: Welcome, Deep Sea Dreaming, Awakening, Fire, Nature, Tin Symphony, Arrivals and Eternity.
This costume was used in the Arrivals segment of the Opening Ceremony. This segment aimed to produce a theatrical representation of Australia's multiculturalism. The programme for the Olympic Opening Ceremony states: The history of Australia is the history of migration. We have come from all corners of the planet to form a vibrant, culturally rich and constantly evolving society. In this segment, a new group of arrivals form the Olympic symbol that unites the five continents of the world. They disperse, leaving behind their children - our hope for the future. More children appear until two thousand gather to form the pattern of the night sky, containing the distinctive Southern Cross constellation. From the centre of the structure Nikki Webster performs "Under Southern Skies' to celebrate the unity of all our people.
There were five floats in the Arrivals segment. Each float represented a continent. Using the symbolism of the colours of Olympic rings, each continent/float was represented by a colour. Black was used to represent the African nations, yellow the Asian nations, red the Americas, green was used for Europe and blue for Oceania, which includes Australia
Fashion and film designers rather than theatrical designers were chosen to provide a contemporary, cutting edge, high fashion look to the costumes. The designers were Jenny Kee - Africa and Americas, Lisa Ho - Asia, Norma Moriceau - Europe and Peter Morrissey - Oceania. Norma Moriceau, the designer of this costume, is one of Australia's most awarded and prolific film costume and production designers.
Performers were selected from schools, community groups and from cultural and ethnic support groups. Approximately 500 performers danced around and on each of the five floats in the costumes created by the designers.
The Harp Lady costume was designed to stand next to and be 'played' by the Treble Clef costume. The harp structure was attached to the float and the wearer was strapped into the structure, thus forming the base of the harp. The costume was worn in the ceremony by Zoe Macdonell.
Norma Moriceau is one of Australia's most awarded and prolific film costume and production designers. Her credits include Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee and Babe Pig in the City. She has won three AFI awards for Best Costume Design for Newsfront (1978), Fatty Finn (1980) and Mad Max 2 - The Road Warrior (1981). In addition to this she has received two AFI nominations for her costume designs for Street Hero (1984) and The Chain Reaction (1980).
Moriceau has a bold signature style, often incorporating tribal symbolism, off beat surrealism and the use of found objects in her designs.
She was assisted in the realisation of the costumes for the Europe float by another Australian production and costume designer, Lisa Meagher.
The initial design brief of the Europe float was to use the artistic, musical and scientific achievements of Europe as basic themes for the costumes. Moriceau was asked to take the costumes out of the realm of folkloric and national dress
Moriceau added touches of pink, fluorescent yellow and metallic gold to the base palette of green to give added depth and vibrancy to the costumes.
The makeup design was an integral part of the overall look of the costume. The make up for the wearer of the costume consisted of a white face with a green glitter 'mask' painted over the eyes.
The Harp Lady costume takes its inspiration and form from the harp.
Maker name Ceremonies Costume Department, Jane Bennett, Bettine Roynan and team.