While we can all appreciate a tentative approach to venturing further afield, and the best thing about 2021 is still perhaps that it simply isn’t 2020, here are some exciting new offerings from around the world to look forward to when the time is right.
Sydney’s VIVID 2021
After taking a raincheck in 2020, Australia’s most loved and awarded festival, Vivid Sydney is set to shine once again this August with a freshly reimagined extravaganza of light, music and ideas to challenge and stimulate the senses. Divided into three categories: Vivid Light – installations including the popular Light Walk stretching along the Sydney Harbour foreshore; Vivid Music – live performances; and Vivid Ideas – conferences and more than 90 thought-provoking talks, the 22-day festival, running from the 6th to the 28th of August is underscored by a celebration of Aboriginal culture alongside themes of resilience and diversity. The sails of the Sydney Opera House will be illuminated with the artwork of eight female indigenous artists from the Pilbara region, honouring the awe-inspiring beauty and mystique of the Australian desert outback. The light festivities will culminate in a 15-minute looped projection centered around the artwork of the Martu artists of the Gibson and Sandy Deserts of Western Australia.
England’s Coast Path
With the simple joy of walking and spending time outdoors in the fresh air reaching new levels of appreciation over the last year or so, the timing couldn’t be better with 2021 shaping up to officially be the Year of the English Coast. To be more precise, all 4,500 kilometres of the entire English coastline is due to be opened up and accessible to the public for the first time this year. With the aim of staying as close to the sea as possible, the new England Coast Path National Trail will be the longest sign-posted walking route in the world and by all accounts, one of the most varied and beautiful – populated with hidden beaches, dramatic cliftops and a wealth of historic coastal habitats in the way of fishing ports, picturesque harbour towns and ocean-front resorts, not to mention the rich marine and birdlife. A diverse programme of activities and events around culture, heritage and literacy with an emphasis of sustainability and protection of the marine environment will commemorate this special year to explore and celebrate this impressive trail.
New York’s Floating Park – Little Island
New York City is not exactly short of urban oases, what with the likes of Central Park and Frederick Law Olmsted’s Park but since May 21, situated on the Hudson River just off West 13th Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, there is now yet another extremely enticing urban haven hangout for New Yorkers and visitors alike to enjoy. Designed by New York-based Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects and British Design Studio Heatherwick Studio, Little Island is a sprawling 9,700-square-metre park supported by 132 tulip-shaped pillars that salvage the remnants of Hudson River Park’s Pier 54, which happens to be the point at which Titanic survivors docked to safety after the 1912 disaster. Intended by the architects to resemble a leaf floating on water, the concrete pillars range from 15 feet to 62 feet in height to create “an undulating support structure” that props up the Floating Park’s rolling hills, tree-lined boulevards and expansive areas of green offering a variety of vantage points from which to take in the iconic Manhattan City skyline. From June, a 687-seat amphitheater on the island will offer a rotating programme of live performances and educational workshops, including a concert with award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Paris’ The Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection
Paris is already home to some of the most famous museums and galleries the world has to offer, such as the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay but the City of Light, has recently welcomed yet another landmark museum for contemporary art onto its impressive tally. Some 20 years in the making, the new USD $194 milion art museum created by French billionaire François Pinault, is housed in Paris’ former stock exchange, the Bourse de Commerce. The redesign of the building, inspired by the concept of Russian Dolls, was led by none other than Japanese architect Tadao Ando who was tasked with designing “a lively space that would foster a dynamic dialogue between the new and the old.” The revived structure now comprises a collection of ten exhibition galleries stretching over 10,000 square metres. The art collection itself – a diverse ensemble of over 10,000 works of all fields of creation by almost 400 artists from all over the world and representing every age group – is a truly unique vision not only of the billionaire art lover but of the art of our times.
Dubai’s Expo 2020
Dubai, the city of superlatives, is adding yet another remarkable occasion to its rather long list of the best, biggest, tallest, largest, highest and so forth. On the eve of its Golden Jubilee, from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, the Emirates will be at the centre of the international stage with their Expo 2020 Dubai, which was pushed back a full year due to the pandemic. Bringing together more than 190 countries for 182 days of cutting-edge technology, arts, culture and ideas spread over a whopping 438 hectares, this global innovation showcase is shaping up to be one of the most innovative showcases the world has ever seen. Touting the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” alongside sub-themes of Mobility, Sustainability and Opportunity, underscoring the event is the belief in the power of partnership and collaboration in forging new paths of development and innovation to create meaningful cultural, social and economic impact around the world.
Maldives’ Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Resort
The Ritz-Carlton is giving us all an enticingly good reason to realise those lofty plans of an island escape upon international travel opening up. With reservations now being accepted for June 2021, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands Resort has set down on the beaches of North Malé Atoll of the Maldives. Set within an integrated development over three islands, each of its 100 villas set against an over-water quay adopt a luxury minimalist style. The contemporary waterfront villas boast private infinity pools, butler service and maximised indoor-outdoor flow courtesy of floor-to-ceiling glass walls to enable guests to fully immerse themselves in all the stunning archipelago has to offer. In addition to access to the archipelago’s “communal beating heart”, the vibrant Fari Marina dotted with luxury boutiques, entertainment and upscale dining options, the resort itself will offer seven restaurants and bars celebrating global cuisine and an overwater spa offering novel treatments curated around directional energy.
Top image credit – Destination NSW