Immersive Installation 'Fire Gardens' Is Returning to Australia This Winter to Light Up Illuminate Adelaide 2024

The Adelaide Botanic Garden will be transformed into a garden of fire for the city's annual midyear arts festival.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 10, 2024

Come July, one of the most peaceful patches of Adelaide will become the most fiery. Don't worry, it's only temporary. Already a hit everywhere from Stonehenge to the Pont du Gard, and also in Melbourne, French art collective Compagnie Carabosse is bringing its acclaimed Fire Gardens back to Australia — specifically to the South Australian capital for 2024's Illuminate Adelaide.

While the festival's full program won't be unveiled until Wednesday, May 1 — so, for interstate residents, what else will tempt you to SA hasn't been revealed as yet — this sprawling and suitably glowing installation is worth getting hot and bothered about already (in a good way, of course). For 12 nights, running Thursday–Sunday for three weeks between Thursday, July 4–Sunday, July 21, Fire Gardens will take over the Adelaide Botanic Garden. The North Terrace spot will be filled with thousands of fire pots, sculptures and terracotta urns — more than 7000, in fact.

Pathways will be illuminated, archways will be lit by candles and huge spheres will roar and crackle. The installation will also feature luminous kinetic sculptures, and pair its sights with live music.

Given that the group has been starting fires professionally for more than two decades, Compagnie Carabosse knows what it's doing — not only when it comes to safely cloaking a huge expanse of grass, plants and trees in flames, but in tapping into humanity's innate fondness for and primal attraction to fire. This isn't just about watching things burn, obviously, but about art. The soundtrack will also boost the mood and allure.

Although Fire Gardens has popped up around the world, this iteration will be crafted specifically for Adelaide Botanic Garden. That means that you really won't see anything like it anywhere else. And, of course, you haven't seen the gardens set on fire before anyway.

"The Illuminate Adelaide Fire Gardens experience is being designed specifically for our Botanic Garden, with Compagnie Carabosse already plotting and mapping out its largest-ever installation designed exclusively for Adelaide and the first time ever during an Australian winter," said Illuminate Adelaide co-founders and Creative Directors Lee Cumberlidge and Rachael Azzopardi.

"Fire Gardens is the perfect way to experience Adelaide in July, and we know audiences will be blown away by this spectacle of leaping flames, fiery urns and smouldering archways."

Fire Gardens will be part of Illuminate Adelaide 2024, running from Thursday, July 4–Sunday, July 21 at Adelaide Botanic Garden, North Terrace, Adelaide. For more information and tickets, head to the festival's website.

Images: Sylvie Monier, Jess Wyld, Regina Marcenkiene and Vincent Muteau.

Published on April 10, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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