Badu Gili 2018 To Showcase New First Nations Art

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, the Sydney Opera House today announced the six First Nations artists whose striking artwork will be projected onto the building's world-famous sails from 24 July 2018.

This first refresh of the Badu Gili light installation, launched in 2017, traces songlines across shifting terrain, from the far corners of the Australian desert to the waters of the Torres Strait.

Badu Gili, which means 'water light' in Gadigal language, celebrates the ancient stories and rich contemporary culture of Australia's First Nations. The seven-minute animation appears on the Opera House's eastern Bennelong sail year-round (twice each night, at sunset and 7pm, or 9pm during daylight saving).

Badu Gili 2018 blends the diverse voices of established artist and community leader Djambawa Marawili AM, vibrant watercolour painter Mervyn Rubuntja, internationally renowned artist and prestigious Telstra NATSIAA awards finalist Mabel Juli, painter, lecturer and traditional healer Patricia Ansell Dodds, ceramicist Penny Evans and emerging printmaker Aiona Tala Gaidan, with an original soundscape by Damian Robinson.

Curated by the Opera House's Head of First Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts AO, the projection is brought to life in collaboration with creative agency Yakkazoo.

Rhoda Roberts says: "Badu Gili 2018 once again re-imagines the diverse markings, sand ceremonies and symbols that guide us in the lore of country, sea and sky. Today's technologies give new relevance and visibility to our ancient culture, allowing the world to understand and witness its power."

Since its launch in July 2017, Badu Gili has been experienced by more than 160,000 visitors to the Opera House, with another 620,000 people from around the world viewing the projection online.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin says: "The sails of our national icon are an unparalleled medium for sharing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art with the world. Badu Gili is visual storytelling at its finest. It is a captivating spectacle that unites Australian and international communities through the celebration of culture and heritage."

Badu Gili 2018 is part of the Opera House's First Nations program, which includes the joyous annual Dance Rites competition, acclaimed podcast Deadly Voices from the House and a robust program of contemporary dance, talks, theatre and workshops.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM says: "Bennelong Point, or Tubowgule as it was known to the local Gadigal people, has a long history as a special place of gathering, ceremony and storytelling, and we strive to carry on that legacy today. Badu Gili demonstrates the Opera House's commitment to fostering and celebrating a shared sense of belonging for all Australians."

Badu Gili 2018 is a free event that takes place at sunset and again at 7pm, or 9pm during daylight saving. It is best viewed from the top of the Opera House's Monumental Steps. Updated screening times are available at

Public are invited to attend the premiere of Badu Gili 2018 on Tuesday 24 July at 6pm. RSVP on Facebook here.