Aboriginal artists light up iconic opera house

Aboriginal artists will paint the iconic Sydney Opera House with light as part of Vivid Sydney Festival 2016. The festival, which runs from 27 May to 18 June, brings together light sculptures, music and installations in events across the city.

Indigenous motifs will decorate the building – one of the world’s most instantly recognisable pieces of architecture – in a project led by Sydney-based artists Rhoda Roberts and Karla Dickens. Roberts is a member of the Bundjalung nation and Sydney Opera House’s head of Indigenous programming, while Dickens is an artist and member of Wiradjuri tribe.

The sails of the Jørn Utzon-designed opera house will celebrate the diverse work of Australia’s Indigenous artists in a projection titled Songlines. Other featured artists include Djon Mundine, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Reko Rennie, Donny Woolagoodja, and the late Gulumbu Yunupingu.

Their works will illustrate the connections between indigenous astronomy and the natural world, the celestial and terrestrial Songlines that weave through time and distance, earth and sky.

Other elements of Vivid Sydney 2016 include a garden of light through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, illuminations at Taronga Zoo, a new virtual reality project from musician and artist Bjork, and a series of concerts by artists including New Order, Esperenza Spalding and Bon Iver.

Vivid Sydney 2015 broke attendance records for a festival of light, music and ideas, with more than 1.7m attendees.