Good memories are created as old memories are shared across generations and across the sails of the Sydney Opera House for the return of the free First Nations projection series in a creative collaboration with the Art Gallery of NSW, to mark the Gallery’s 150th anniversary.

Badu Gili: Wonder Women is a six minute animation projection that celebrates six female First Nations artists from across Australia.  Sequences of storytelling reaffirm discoveries of the Eureka Stockade, intimate reflections of everyday life in indigenous communities through to observations of the severe bushfires and representations of super heroes as popular culture.

Images draw us into relationship with the artists and the curator, Coby Edgar, who had the challenging job of connecting us across generations with the selection of depictions from the communities’ collection works using contemporary technology.  Since 2016 she has established trusting relationships with the artists.  “They’re women that really challenge what aboriginal people think art-culture is, and I think that’s it’s really important to debunk some of the perceptions we have around who aboriginal people are,” she said.

Edgar is a 30-year-old Larrakia, English, Flippino woman from Darwin and the Art Gallery of NSW Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.  Badu Gili, which is Gadigal for ‘water light’ was launched four years ago following Songlines, a Vivid LIVE month long series named after the spiritual paths that snake across Australia.

APY Lands artist Kaylene Whiskey has a concurrent solo exhibition Sistas at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, that foregrounds strong female figures including Wonder Woman in remote landscapes interacting with native wildlife and fauna and engaging in traditional aboriginal activities.  Whiskey combines indigenous culture with contemporary aboriginal life across two-generations in a series of vibrant portrayals.

These images represent a rich cultural heritage for descendants in distinctive and positive ways. They are enriching sources for the stories of land, of self, of the present, the past and of our future.  Wonder Women challenges our perceptions of what aboriginal art looks like.

“It’s a really amazing time to be looking at how far we’ve come, but also looking at the kind of country we can be,” said Edgar.

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Badu Gili: Wonder Women features First Nation artists: Wadawurrung elder Marlene Gilson; Yankunytjatjara woman Kaylene Whiskey; Luritja woman Sally Mulda; and Western Arrarnta women Judith Inkamala and Marlene Rubuntja and the late Kamilaroi woman Elaine Russell.

Best viewed from the top of the Monumental Steps
FREE Daily at sunset, 8:30pm, 9pm and 9:30pm

Sistas: Kaylene Whiskey
12 May – 12 June 2021
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Image: Sistas by Kaylene Whiskey.  All rights reserved.