FRESH TRADITION: The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated by the Badu Gili: Water Light animation.
FRESH TRADITION: The sails of the Sydney Opera House are illuminated by the Badu Gili: Water Light animation. Richard Milnes

Opera House seen in a new light

LIN Onus, Aboriginal artist, hoped his works would create "some sort of bridge” between indigenous and European cultures.

Now, more than 20 years after his death, his work adorns the sails of the Sydney Opera House every sunset.

Works by Onus and four other eminent First Nation artists, including Minnie Pwerle, have been projected at sunset and 7pm on the World Heritage building's sails to acknowledge the Gadigal people - the traditional custodians of Bennelong Point, where the Opera House sits.

Badu Gili means water light in their language.

The Opera House's head of the First Nations program, Rhoda Roberts, said the display would "create a gateway to Australia's First Nations history and culture for the 8.2 million people who visit the Opera House each year”.

Other artists in the seven- minute Badu Gili display are Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), Frances Belle Parker and Alick Tipoti.

"There is this inherited legacy of Aboriginal culture in Australia that isn't seen, heard, or given voice,” she told CNN. There are few international art museums dedicated to Aboriginal Australian art and (it rarely) features in the arenas of global art criticism.

"Australians don't realize what they have. They haven't been exposed to this culture and don't understand its depth. So it's really exciting to have Australian people being blown away by this art.”



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