Sydney Opera House - Badu Gili 2018​​​​​​​
 Illuminating the Eastern sails of Sydney Opera House daily at sunset, Badu Gili - meaning ‘water light’ - celebrates the work of six First Nations artists. Curated by Rhoda Roberts AO, Badu Gili 2018 features the work of Mervyn Rubuntja, Mabel Juli, Penny Evans, Aiona tala Gaidan, Patricia Ansell Dodds & Djambawa Marawili.

Each artists unique vision was meticulously brought to life across the sails. The focus of the artists work, location, & methods forming the basis of both the narrative & animation styles throughout the piece. A vast range of techniques were used - from illustration, photography, 2D & 3D animation to modelling, rigging, compositing & particle systems - whilst maintaining a handmade, tactile feel to the work.

Running from July 2018 to July 2019, the year long experience is a stunning celebration of First Nations art & culture.
Narrative Development
Storyboard Development
Final Frames
Having delivered numerous large scale projections & previous work for Sydney Opera House I was enlisted by design agency Vandal to lead the animation component of the project, working closely with creative agency Yakkazoo.
On receiving the featured artists work the first step was research - their practice, location, subject matter and tools informing both the narrative and production methods of their chapter in the piece.
From the watercolours of Mervyn Rubuntja, the ochre works of Mabel Juli to the engraved ceramics of Penny Evans the artist's medium was carried through into the animation to give each chapter a distinct style. Art director Jeremy Mansford beautifully brought to life the bold prints of Aiona tala Gaidan, the dot work of Patricia Ansell Dodds & intricate work of Djambawa Marawili maintaining the tactility of the works.
Constructing a narrative in pencil & paper allows to quickly build a story & visualise the work as a whole, physically chopping & changing sequences. Sketches are then worked up in Photoshop & form the basis of the animatic.

A large amount pre-production work went into the project. CAD models cleaned up & prepared into workable files. The structure of the Opera House sails rebuilt for animation & elements of the artist’s work meticulously isolated by hand & prepared for animation.
The backbone of the project was constructed in 3D, Cinema 4D being used for a range of tasks from modelling & sculpting to rigging & animating cockatoos, ants & crocodiles across the sails. A number of render engines & technique’s were used from cinemas physical & sketch & toon for painterly effects to Redshift for refractive water elements.

The project was produced in six weeks, an incredible effort by my immediate team of Laura Tenison, Jeremy Mansford & Robert Dinnerville bringing the work to life.

A huge amount of knowledge goes into making large scale projections, they present a unique set of technical challenges. The project used skills garnered from talented artists over a ten year career including Will Skinner, Jason French, & Roy Christian.
Clocking in at seven & a half minutes the animation consisted of over thirty five shots equating to more than ten thousand frames.

It was huge privilege to be part of the project & bring to life the artists work across the the sails.
Project Credits
Badu Gili Artists
Mervyn Rubuntja
Mabel Juli
Penny Evans
Aiona tala Gaidan
Patricia Ansell Dodds
Djambawa Marawili

Sydney Opera House
Curator - Rhoda Roberts AO
Sound Design - Damian Robinson
Creative Directors - Lisa Taylor, Mark Barret
Produciton - Donna Llyod
Design - Manuela Strano​​​​​​​

Creative Director - Emile Rademeyer
Art Director - Duncan Dix
Design & Art Direction - Jeremy Mansford
Production - Laura Tenison, Anna Greensmith
2D / 3D Artists - Duncan Dix, Jeremy Mansford, Robert Dinnerville, Lucca Barone-Peters, Manuela Strano​​​​​​​

Back to Top