The Sydney Opera House will glow tonight with the launch of its first year-round light installation.

Badu Gili – meaning “water light” in the language of the Gadigal people – is a seven-minute animation that will illuminate the eastern Bennelong sail every night at 7pm and sunset, bringing light and water together.

Created by artists Jenuarrie (Judith Warrie), a Koinjmal woman from the Eastern coastal plains of Central Queensland, and Frances Belle Parker, the youngest winner of the Blake Art Prize from Yaegl country in Northern NSW, the work celebrates the rich history and vibrant contemporary communities of Aboriginal people. Artists In Motion brought the animation to life from numerous photographs of these rich and historic paintings.

There will also be soundscapes accompanying the animations from Damian Robinson, who used to work at the Opera House. Robinson is part of Wicked Beat Sound System, a Sydney-based group whose work is an eclectic mixture of electronica, reggae, dub, soul and hip-hop.

On June 28, there will be a welcome and smoking ceremony, accompanied by a performance from Jannawi Dance Clan, with speeches prior to lights on.

The first installation has been launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum. It is also on the eve of NAIDOC Week and the world premiere of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Bennelong – a contemporary dance piece exploring Bennelong Point’s history, choreographed by artistic director Stephen Page and running at the Opera House.

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