News / City Life

Sydney Opera House will light up with six new projections of First Nations artwork

Indigenous artwork projected onto Sydney Opera House
Photograph: Sydney Opera House Badu Gili artwork by Patricia Ansell Dodds

Can you think of a better canvas than the sails of Sydney’s most iconic landmark?

For the past year, Sydney Opera House has been projecting artworks created by Indigenous Australians onto the eastern Bennelong sail twice each night (at sunset and 7pm in winter or 9pm in summer). The light installation is called Badu Gili, which means ‘water light’ in Gadigal language and one Badu Gili artist Judith (Jenuarrie) Warrie said having her work displayed each night on the globally recognised building was “the pinnacle of [her] career”.

Now, for the next 12 months, there’ll be a new seven-minute projection featuring striking artwork from six new artists: established artist Djambawa Marawili AM; watercolour painter Mervyn Rubuntja; Telstra NATSIAA awards finalist Mabel Juli; painter, lecturer and traditional healer Patricia Ansell Dodds; ceramicist Penny Evans; and printmaker Aiona Tala Gaidan.

Indigenous artwork projected onto Sydney Opera House


Badu Gili artwork by Aiona Tala Gaidan
Photograph: Sydney Opera House






The projections are set to a soundscape by Damian Robinson and the first time you can catch Badu Gili 2018 is at 6pm on Tuesday July 24.

Curated by the Opera House’s head of First Nations programming, Rhoda Roberts AO, the projection celebrates the ancient stories and rich contemporary culture of Australia’s First Nations. It’s best viewed from the Monumental Steps and it’s free to see every night.

Roberts says, “Today’s technologies give new relevance and visibility to our ancient culture, allowing the world to understand and witness its power.”

Badu Gili is free to view every night at sunset and again at 7pm (or 9pm during daylight saving). Check screening times at the Sydney Opera House’s website. 

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