Works by six indigenous women artists are projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House

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The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated with incredible ‘water light’ artworks created by six female indigenous artists

  • Sails of the Sydney Opera House lit with works by six First Nation performers
  • Badu Gili: Wonder Woman is an animated light show that is played daily at sunset
  • The 2021 projection series marks the 150th anniversary of the Art Gallery of NSW

Works by a group of indigenous artists are projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House for a nighttime light show that explores ancient stories.

One of Australia’s most iconic landmarks is the play of canvas on the works and stories of six indigenous female artists hand-picked from across the country.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were lit Thursday for the first day of the ongoing projection exhibition Badu Gili: Wonder Women.

Aboriginal artists Judith Inkamala (left), Marlene Gilson (center) and Marlene Rubuntja (2nd right) stand in front of their artwork with curator Coby Edgar (far right)

‘Badu Gili – meaning’ water light ‘… is a free daily experience that explores ancient First Nations stories in a spectacular six-minute projection,’ the organizers say.

The 2021 projection series is a collaboration of the Opera House and the Art Gallery of NSW, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the last facility.

The project is the first year-round lighting experience to be launched by the Opera House and will be featured every evening on the east Bennelong sails.

The light show features the work of First Nations artists Elaine Russell, Marlene Gibson, Judith Inkamala, Marlene Rubuntja, Sally Mulda and Kaylene Whiskey.

The projections celebrate the works and stories of six First Nations artists hand-picked from around the country by curator Coby Edgar

The projections celebrate the works and stories of six First Nations artists hand-picked from around the country by curator Coby Edgar

The creative collaboration between the Opera House and the Art Gallery of NSW started on Thursday evening

The creative collaboration between the Opera House and the Art Gallery of NSW started on Thursday evening

The projection is part of the Opera House’s First Nations program and aims to ‘promote and celebrate a shared sense of belonging for all Australians’.

Coby Edgar, curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, said she was thrilled to see the works animated on the sails.

‘I have chosen each of (the artists) because they disprove and challenge the perception of what people think Aboriginal art is and what it looks like,’ she told 2SER radio.

The project is the first lighting experience to be launched by the Opera House year-round

The project is the first lighting experience to be launched by the Opera House year-round

“They all have stories that I think are very relevant and important to what we are going through as a world and as a nation right now.”

The sails will light up on rotation every night in the third chapter of Badu Gili, which was previously held in 2017 and 2018.

The projection will be accompanied by Badu Gili LIVE, a free series of outdoor music played by First Nations performers on the steps of the Opera House.

The animated light show starts every day at sunset or around 5:30 pm and is funded by the NSW government through the Culture Up Late initiative.

The 2021 projection series is a collaboration of the Opera House and the Art Gallery of NSW

The 2021 projection series is a collaboration of the Opera House and the Art Gallery of NSW

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