With the success of Songlines for VIVID Sydney 2016, our team of artists was once again commissioned to craft an original seven-minute animation show illuminating the eastern Bennelong sail of the Opera House for a brand new, daily cultural experience.
Rich, historical works by five eminent First Nations artists from across Australia and the Torres Straight Islands set the foundation for each chapter of the projected story entitled Badu Gili meaning ‘water light’ in Gadigal language. Curated by Rhoda Roberts, the featured artists are Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), Frances Belle Parker, Alick Tipoti and the late Lin Onus and Minnie Pwerle.
Our team was supplied a series of photographs of selected paintings done by each artist. Similar to our approach with Songlines, we first analysed each of the artist’s pieces and chosen techniques, mediums, and styles, then translated the work using digital tools to achieve the same look. Several different types of software and techniques were applied to recreate each artist’s style – everything from particle systems to painting dot by dot in Photoshop to physically painting with acrylics, were used in order to maintain the integrity of the original pieces of artwork.
With each artist a different set of tools and techniques were required to bring their piece to life. Each shot was carefully and thoughtfully directed, playing to the strengths of the artists’ work and the stories they told through them. The chapters were woven together and set to a musical soundscape composed by Damian Robinson, featuring vocals from Djakapurra Munyarryun, Cecil Mcleod, Taryn Beatty, Honey Beatty and Travis De Vries. The year-round experience is a first for the Opera House in its move towards reconciliation, fostering and celebrating a shared sense of belonging for all Australians.