Sydney Opera House Covered in Aboriginal Artwork
The Sydney Opera House has, for the first time, been transformed into an enormous canvas for six of the country’s best contemporary Aboriginal artists as part of the annual Vivid light festival.
The series of animated images is called Songlines, which are ancient invisible lines that crisscross the country and connect Indigenous people with the land. Each artist’s work illustrates the innate connection to country all Aboriginal people have.
“Songlines are based on the dreaming tracks and trade routes across Australia used by Aboriginals for thousands of years,” Rhoda Roberts, a Bundgalung woman and head of Indigenous programming at Sydney Opera House, told BuzzFeed News.
“The stories of these routes have always and still do connect clans and groups across the country,” Roberts said.
“Aboriginal religious beliefs talk about a kind of aura or spiritual coating that covers everything in the world, including people. Our work in Vivid is illustrating that spiritual force that covers things and brings people together,” Djon Mundine, one of the artists, told BuzzFeed News.
The Vivid festival is billed as the world’s largest festival of outdoor lights, music and ideas and is expected to attract 1.7 million visitors to Sydney this year.
Songlines is the first time the festival has commissioned Indigenous artworks for the iconic Opera House sails.
The artworks run over a 15-minute loop each night.
“It’s art we have never seen before. This art leaves our people’s mark on a globally iconic building,” Roberts said.
“These pieces of art bring a new look to the House – steeped in the old but so new and relevant today. Aboriginal clans often gaze at the spaces between the stars, and we hope the audiences will view this from the same perspective,” Roberts told BuzzFeed News.