Experience Songlines on screen during NAIDOC Week

Lighting the Sails - Vivid Sydney 2016. Photo: Daniel Boud. Image courtesy Sydney Opera House.

Lighting the Sails – Vivid Sydney 2016. Photo: Daniel Boud. Image courtesy Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House came alive with a moving tapestry of Indigenous art for the first time with Songlines – the  centrepiece of VividLIVE and Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

Songlines, directed by Opera House, Head of Indigenous programming, Rhoda Roberts AO and co-curated by Vivid Sydney is inspired by the ancient dreaming tracks that weave across the landscape and skies, and features the work of six renowned Aboriginal artists: Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine OAM, Reko Rennie, Gabriella Possum, Donny Woolagoodja and the late Gulumbu Yunipingu.

Watch Lighting the Sails – Songlines with director’s commentary by Rhoda Roberts

A global audience of more than six million celebrated the art and culture of Australia’s First Nations through two digital experiences – the Sydney Opera House’s most successful live stream of Songlines on Facebook Live.

And, Spanning the Lands, commissioned by Sydney Opera House. This short animation explains the ancient concepts of a songline and is narrated by Rhoda Roberts with art direction and animation by Eddy Herringson and music by Damian Robinson featuring songmen Djakapurra Munyarryun and Cecil McLeod. “It’s an oral archive of our history and mapping of country,” Roberts said. “Without songlines we don’t exist.”

Watch ‘Spanning the Lands’ on Sydney Opera House’s Facebook page

Through the incredible Songlines 360° VR project in partnership with SBS Digital Labs Songlines can be experienced off the sails and in your imagination. Floating amongst the endless expanse of The Pleiades, behold the majestic scar trees, marvel at the Western Kimberly and the Wandjina as Rhoda Roberts AO, guides you with audio commentary through ‘Songlines’. On Facebook, the video has already seen over 40,000 plays.

Relive Songlines 360° via YouTube or the SBS On Demand app (VR headset option). For more information visit sbs.com.au/vr

This collision of ancient dreaming tracks and state of the art technology continues the evolution of Bennelong Point, known to the Gadigal for thousands of years as Tubowgule a site with a rich history as a gathering place for community, ceremony, songs, storytelling and celebration.

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Published: 29 June 2016