Indigenous | Indigenous

Indigenous artists collaboration lights up Sydney Opera House

Visitors and locals alike are in for a treat this festive season, as a first-of-its-kind artwork will light up the iconic Sydney Opera House.

The dynamic projection promises a “celestial” spectacle of light and sound, featuring the talents of Gail Mabo, an artist from Mer Island in the Torres Straits, and Nikau Hindin of Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi.

“It is an immense privilege as a manuhiri to this land,” says Hindin.

“To adorn this space with Māori patterns that emerge from our creation stories and enduring textile practices of tukutuku and tāniko.

As a bark cloth maker, Hindin feels she must revive this ancient tradition of her tūpuna.

“Toi Māori is the materialisation of our ways of thinking and it is potent in the maintenance of our knowledge systems. These ways of knowing and being are essential to the healing of our land and seas and we are in solidarity with our older First Nation brothers and sisters here.”

Titled Badu Gili: Celestial, which translates to ‘water light’ in the language of the traditional custodians of Bennelong Point - this year’s presentation will cast its magical display on the Eastern Bennelong sails, coming to light from sunset.

“The sky is for everybody,” says Mabo, who hopes that her work will be an inspiration for everyone, especially children.

“The stories which connect people are different everywhere, but the stars remain. At a time when people forget to look up, I hope my work brings the sky and the rest of the world closer for us to see,” says Mabo.

Badu Gili: Celestial will appear on the Opera House’s Eastern Bennelong sails each night at sunset, 9pm, 9:30pm, 10pm and 10:30pm.