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ANMM joins Vivid Sydney with Barani

Phoebe Blogg, First Nations stories to feature at the Australian National Maritime Museum during Vivid Sydney, National Indigenous Times, 23 May 2024

Barani digital installation reflected onto Sydney’s Maritime Museum. (Image: Vivid Sydney).

Set to feature as one of the many ways Indigenous culture will be represented at this year’s event, Vivid Sydney has announced the Southern Hemisphere’s largest multi-artform festival will present an immersive First Nations animation tilted Barani.

Focusing on a story that stretches back thousands of years exploring themes of humanity, compassion and connection, Barani is an immersive experience of animation, sound and storytelling.

Projected onto the Australian National Maritime Museum rooftop daily from May 24 to June 15  from 6pm until 11pm, crowds attending can expect an engaging yet unique form of cultural storytelling.

Created by Studio Gilay, Barania Gadigal word meaning yesterday – is a bittersweet narrative set in Warrane (Sydney Cove) 500 years ago, juxtaposing humanity’s current existence with a time of harmony between humans and nature.

The story, rich in historical and cultural value will encourage audiences to reconsider the history of the land under their feet.

Barani is a moving coming-of-age and mother-and-son story. Through this relationship, themes of love, connection, independence and the inextricable link between humanity and nature are explored.

Unlike most artistic attractions at Vivid Sydney, this digital illustration utilises a unique blend of modern digital illustrations and First Nations iconography.

Museum director and CEO Ms Daryl Karp AM, said the digital illustration reflects Vivid Sydney’s 2024 theme of Humanity.

“Based on the Vivid Sydney 2024 theme – Humanity,  we have developed this story with the talents of Studio Gilay. We wanted to tell a story of the harbour that surrounds us and the people who protected it for generations,” Ms Karp said

“It teaches us to stop and listen, to look and to learn, to connect and protect what surrounds us.”

Not achievable without the help of Sydney based production company Studio Gilay, the processes gone into creating Barani have been heavily planned out to ensure audience members follow the story in an engaging and educational visual format.

Founded in 2021 by Jake Duczynski and James Hackett, Studio Gilay is known for its unique design, close collaboration, honest approach to storytelling, committed to originality, diversity and authentic representation.

The production company brings together a dynamic and passionate team, more than a third of whom are of First Nations heritage, including talented writers, directors, and artists.

Behind the scenes at Vivid 2024. (Image: Destination NSW).

Set to transform Sydney into a vibrant hub of creativity, innovation and community connection, the digital storytelling illustration of Barani is just one of the many ways VIVID Sydney is celebrating Indigenous community and craft in 2024.

Taking place over 23 nights, light installations, music, ideas and food will inspire global audiences and drive cultural exchange.

With the 2024 theme being ‘Humanity’, the popular event is striving to spark reflection and engagement.

Vivid Sydney will not only showcase NSW’s cultural vibrancy but position the state as a global leader in artistic innovation.

“It’s an important event every year that Sydneysiders and visitors alike have come to love. It’s not just a light show, it’s a celebration of light, music, ideas and food – a program full of rich cultural experiences that resonate with locals and visitors alike,” said New South Wales Minister for the Arts, John Graham.

“Vivid Sydney brings together important parts of Sydney’s culture – light, music, ideas and food. It celebrates what’s great and unique about our city, and our state and creates a uniquely Sydney experience.”

Barani will be projected onto the Australian National Maritime Museum rooftop daily from May 24 to June 15  from 6pm until 11pm. It will also be playing daily in the museum’s Bamal Gallery.

Vivid Sydney will run from the May 24 to June 15, 2024.