Pilbara Light Show 2022: Local Aboriginal Artwork Immersed

Pilbara Light Show 2022: Local Aboriginal Artwork Immersed

Pilbara Light Show, Walyja Ngurra: Presenting local Aboriginal Artwork by Martumili Artists in a way you’ve never seen it before!

In partnership with the Shire of East Pilbara, PAV was invited to design a major draw card for the Shire’s annual Fusion Festival. With few creative constraints (other than “make it impressive!”), we set plans in motion to transform the Shire’s Arts Centre for four nights of storytelling for the Pilbara Light Show, using projection, animation, audio, and lighting.

PAV engaged with digital animator and storyteller Sohan Ariel Hayes to evolve a story from the local Indigenous of the land – The Martumilli people.

Drawn from the landscapes that Martu artist Ngamaru Bidu paints, the exhibition bathed viewers in intense chromatic light inspired by the cultural and land management practices of Martu using waru (fire).

Hayes worked closely with Bidu to bring her artworks to life, combining high resolution images of Bidu’s fire paintings, the information she shared with him, and his own digital animation skills to create a landscape in flux, a large and immersive projection experience.

Two planes of light – each 16m wide and 8m in height – were used, with another plane on the ground (16m wide by 16m in length), allowing for continuous projection across both surfaces.

In addition, five cubic meters of Pindan riverbed sand were transported in and placed on the ground to give texture and a feeling of being “on country” to all those who visited.

Accompanying the visuals were the sounds of wind, fire, thunder, and singing in 4.1 audio, enchanting guests and transporting them to a night in the desert.

A fully time-coded lighting installation emphasised the colours in Ngamaru’s artwork which simulated the night sky elements of the story.

This event brought a new connection between the Shire of East Pilbara, The Martumilli Arts Centre and the local community.

During the showcase, artworks were sold, with proceeds going back to the artists and the Martumilli Arts centre.

Artworks are available to purchase here – https://martumili.com.au/