In June 2017, the Sydney Opera House launched Badu Gili — a seven-minute art projection that lights the iconic landmark’s sails nightly at sunset. Meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the traditional owners of Bennelong point – the Gadigal people – Badu Gili celebrates Indigenous tradition and culture, and seeks to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of ancient stories in a thoroughly modern medium.
The projection incorporates the works of five Indigenous artists from Australia and the Torres Strait, and curator Rhoda Roberts AO worked closely with the company Artists in Motion to produce the digital effects. This video explores the significance of Badu Gili and gives viewers an exclusive look into how it was created, whilst also examining some of the concerns associated with this kind of public art, and the possibility for exploitation. Travis de Vries, Associate Producer of First Nations Programs at the Opera House, explains the need for indigenous art to continue to evolve in order to retain relevance and interest for modern audiences. Caterina Vicaretti of Artists in Motion provides insight into the processes involved with bringing the artworks to life, and Indigenous radio presenter Daniel Browning addresses the need to safeguard indigenous art against unethical mishandling.
Conceived, Filmed, and Edited by: Roya Ghodsi, Madison Copland, Joanna Kim, Isabella Martin, Charlotte Middleton
Technical Support: Digital Media Unit, School of Literature Art and Media, University of Sydney
Production Supervisor: Alison Ray with Tyler Mahoney and Marcus James.
© 2017 Roya Ghodsi, Madison Copland, Joanna Kim, Isabella Martin, Charlotte Middleton.