‘Badu Gili’: ‘Water Light’

New daily Sydney Opera House sunset sail lighting tells ancient 1st Nations stories
Premiere of 1st ‘Badu Gili’ projection to be streamed online tonight from 5:45pm AEST

Tonight, the Sydney Opera House launches Badu Gili, a new experience that will light the building’s famous sails every evening in celebration of the rich history & contemporary vibrancy of Australia’s 1st Nations culture.

Bennelong Point has been a gathering place for community, ceremony & storytelling for thousands of years. Badu Gili – meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the site’s traditional owners, the Gadigal people – will explore ancient stories in a spectacularly contemporary 7 minute animation, illuminating the eastern Bennelong Restaurant sail year round at sunset & 7pm AEST.

The ‘lights on’ moment will be streamed on the Sydney Opera House’s Facebook page tonight from 5:45pm AEST (28th of June).

Curated by the Sydney Opera House’s Head Of 1st Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts (Officer Of The Order Of Australia), Badu Gili weaves together the work of 5 eminent 1st Nations artists from across Australia & the Torres Strait Islands, Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), Frances Belle Parker, Alick Tipoti & the late Lin Onus and Minnie Pwerle.

Rhoda Roberts said: “’Badu Gili’ uses contemporary artworks & new mediums to celebrate time-honoured stories of seasonal change in flora & fauna. It combines music & images to create a gateway to Australia’s 1st Nations history & culture for the 8.2 million people who visit the Sydney Opera House each year”

New South Wales Minister For The Arts, Don Harwin, said: “The launch of ‘Badu Gili’ is a significant moment not only to celebrate excellence in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art but to acknowledge & honour the traditional owners of the land on this incredible canvas”

Enabled by the Sydney Opera House, its Idealist donors & the Australia Council For The Arts, Badu Gili builds on Songlines, the monumental visual narrative curated by Rhoda Roberts that projected 1st Nations stories of the land & sky onto the Sydney Opera House sails for the 1st time as part of 2016’s Vivid Sydney festival.

An important new pillar of the Sydney Opera House’s year round 1st Nations program – which includes the annual Homeground festival & groundbreaking Dance Rites competition – Badu Gili has been launched to coincide with the year of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, on the eve of National Aboriginal & Islander Day Observance Committee Week & the world premiere of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s new production, Bennelong.

Sydney Opera House Chief Executive Officer, Louise Herron (Member Of The Order Of Australia), said: “The Sydney Opera House is Australia’s best known meeting place for culture, storytelling & ceremony. In that, we continue a truly ancient tradition. We hope ‘Badu Gili’ will become an essential Sydney cultural experience for both visitors & the local community that will foster & celebrate a shared sense of belonging for all Australians”

“We are incredibly thankful to our Idealist donors & the Australia Council For The Arts, whose generous support has enabled this important project”

Badu Gili is a free experience that takes place daily at sunset. It is best viewed from the Sydney Opera House Podium at the top of the Monumental Steps. For up to date sunset showing times, see sydneyoperahouse.com/badugili.

Media Release: Sydney Opera House