Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 12:57 UK

Eno artwork lights up opera house

77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno
Eno's 77 Million Paintings was also shown at the 2006 Venice Biennale

The artwork of music producer Brian Eno is illuminating the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House as part of a sound and light festival in the city.

They have become a canvas for audio-visual work 77 Million Paintings which uses "self-generating software" to manipulate 300 of Eno's drawings.

He says it aims to provoke "visual ecstasy" and "heightened calm".

The inaugural Luminous festival, curated by the ex-Roxy Music man, runs from Tuesday until 14 June.

Brian Eno with 77 Million Paintings
By allowing ourselves to let go of the world that we have to be part of every day, and to surrender to another kind of world, we're allowing imaginative processes to take place
Brian Eno

The festival was launched earlier with the first display of 77 Million Paintings, which will be shown from 1700 local time each night during the festival.

Eno said the constantly evolving display of colour, shape and form - already shown in the US and countries across Europe - would help people to "surrender to another kind of world".

"All the things that humans do, including imagining, are the way we deal with emergencies including the global financial crisis," the 61-year-old told BBC News.

"So to imply, 'oh God, there's a crisis, no time for imagining any more' - it's not true.

"This is the time for imagining and the way we learn to imagine, one of the ways we learn to imagine, is through the experience of art."

The human ability to imagine made people "capable of surviving," he added.

"By allowing ourselves to let go of the world that we have to be part of every day, and to surrender to another kind of world, we're allowing imaginative processes to take place."

'Meditative experience'

Sydney Opera House chief executive Richard Evans said giving permission to project the work onto the sails was "not done lightly".

We're not colouring in the opera house, we're actually kind of taking the art of the opera house and raising it to a different level
Sydney Opera House chief executive Richard Evans

"It's a number of colours which kind of meld into one another and move around, sometimes quickly, sometimes very, very slowly, most times quite slowly," he added.

"As you watch it, it's a very meditative experience.

"We're not colouring in the opera house, we're actually kind of taking the art of the opera house and raising it to a different level."

Musical highlights of the Luminous festival include performances from dub star Lee "Scratch" Perry and electro-pop outfit Ladytron.

Festival organisers say Eno was chosen as curator because of "his great sophistication and inventiveness".

Educated in fine arts, Brian Eno leapt to fame in the 1970s band Roxy Music which he co-founded with Brian Ferry.

He has since produced records for the likes of Talking Heads, Ultravox, U2 and Coldplay.



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SEE ALSO
Joining Coldplay's musical journey
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Roxy Music's Eno makes solo return
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