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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Coogee Rainbow 庫吉彩虹 クージー・レインボー

Updated: Jan 14

The is another of Sydney's iconic beaches - Coogee Beach with its rainbow walkway (installed in 2021) as part of the city council’s partnership and support for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. It has now become a permanent public art fixture.

A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the Sun.

Rainbows can be full circles. However, the observer normally sees only an arc formed by illuminated droplets above the ground, and centered on a line from the Sun to the observer's eye.

The rainbow flag was popularized as a symbol of the gay community by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The different colors are often associated with "diversity" in the gay community (but actually have literal meanings). The flag is used predominantly at gay pride events and in gay villages worldwide in various forms including banners, clothing and jewelry. Since the 1990s, its symbolism has been transferred to represent the extended "LGBT" (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.

The flag was originally created with eight colors, but pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes, and since 1979 it has consisted of six colored stripes. It is most commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. Aside from the obvious symbolism of a mixed LGBT community, the colors were determined to symbolize:

  • life (red),

  • healing (orange),

  • sunlight (yellow),

  • nature (green),

  • harmony/peace (blue),

  • spirit (purple/violet).

The removed colors stood for sexuality (pink) and art/magic (turquoise).

As usual, my favourite way to photograph this iconic feature is from top down.

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