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The late Minnie Pwerle is one of five First Nations artists whose work (pictured above) will be projected on the Sydney Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sail year-round as part of a new Badu Gili experience
Credit: Daniel Boud/Courtesy of Sydney Opera House

On the eve of NAIDOC week, and coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, the Sydney Opera House this evening launches a stunning new initiative in celebration of Australia’s First Nations people and their culture.

Meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the land’s traditional owners, the Gadigal people, Badu Gili will light the eastern Bennelong sail year-round at sunset and at 7pm with a seven minute animation that will explore ancient stories as told through the work of five eminent visual artists from across Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. Those artists include Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), Frances Belle Parker, Alick Tipoti as well as the late Lin Onus and Minnie Pwerle, whose work is pictured above. The inaugural light-up moment will take place this evening at 5:40; a Facebook Live stream will accompany the unveiling.

The Opera House’s Head of First Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts AO, curated the event and described its significance in using “contemporary artworks and new mediums to celebrate time-honoured stories of seasonal change in flora and fauna. It combines music and images to create a gateway to Australia’s First Nations history and culture for the 8.2 million people who visit the Opera House each year.”

Badu Gili will take place for free every evening at sunset and 7pm. It’s best viewed from the Opera House Podium at the top of the Monumental Steps. You can find out more information here.

Tile and cover image: Daniel Boud/Courtesy of Sydney Opera House

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