Badu Gili (meaning “water-light” in Gadigal language).
When the sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with First Nations art for the first time, audiences were transfixed. Badu Gili has given First Nations artists the opportunity to present their stories to an unprecedented international audience.
Badu Gili is a daily, year-round experience at sundown and 7.00pm. Badu Gili has been enabled by the Opera House, its Idealist donors, and the Australia Council for the Arts.
This work, Mapping Ulgundahi, was first conceived by artist Frances Belle Parker in 2005. It was an installation of mass proportions – conceptually and spatially – that represented the ‘whitewashing’ of Aboriginal culture, history and religion by the Scottish settlers who governed Yaegl land, her home.
“The underlying history of Ulgundahi Island is what strongly informs my work,” she says over the phone. She’s humble in nature, but there is a fire behind Frances’ voice. It commands your attention, and so does her art.