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STARRY, STARRY LIGHT SPARKLES ON A CONSTELLATION OF ABORIGINAL CULTURE

BY TRACY BELL | 19-Feb-2016
A Dreaming Light - TANGKUINYENDI YABARRA - is now shining on North Terrace following the launch of THE 2016 Adelaide Fringe in a powerful ceremony celebrating Kaurna culture through fire and dance. In a live performance, the Paitya Cultural Group depicted ancient stories of country and, through the magic of South Australian projection artists illuminart, ignited a spark of spectacular light onto the Mortlock Wing of the State Library that will carry the beautifully lit stories until February 28. Dreaming Light, is the largest ever architectural projection art project in South Australia involving Aboriginal storytelling and it is a cultural and artistic collaboration between Paitya, illuminart, the South Australian Museum and State Library of South Australia commissioned for the Adelaide Fringe 2016.
A Dreaming Light - TANGKUINYENDI YABARRA - is now shining on North Terrace following the launch of the 2016 Adelaide Fringe in a powerful ceremony celebrating Kaurna culture through fire and dance.

In a live performance, the Paitya Cultural Group depicted ancient stories of country and culture and, through the magic of South Australian projection artists illuminart, ignited a spark of spectacular light onto the Mortlock Wing of the State Library that will carry the beautifully lit stories until February 28.

Dreaming Light, is the largest ever architectural projection art project in South Australia involving Aboriginal storytelling and it is a cultural and artistic collaboration between Paitya, illuminart, the South Australian Museum and State Library of South Australia commissioned for the Adelaide Fringe 2016.

Director of Paitya, Karl Winda Telfer says his work and dreams are about increasing awareness of the Kaurna culture through traditional stories and his creative partnership with South Australia’s projection art specialist illuminart has provided a dazzling platform to begin a bi-cultural conversation.

“We have the stories from the oldest living culture in the world and illuminart has lit them brilliantly to give us a new way of renewing and passing this knowledge on to our own community and all South Australians,” Mr Telfer said.

Illuminart Creative Director Cindi Drennan described the Friday night performance by the Paitya community and Karl Telfer as a mesmerising enactment of symbolic rituals and dances commemorating Kaurna land.

“All of as at illuminart were honoured to witness it and to be involved in creating a beautiful space for people to come together, to not just see the stories in a new light but to understand them and respect them,” Ms Drennan said.

“Nearing the end of the Paitya performance, Karl passed a shield down and back along a line of Kaurna boys while speaking of the knowledge that the young boys would be renewing and preserving for future generations,

“Finally, a large symbolic shield was lit with fire, and the group of Paitya came in to the middle of the ground and as this happened, the projections began.”

At this point, the Fringe audience looked up to see flickering sparks high on the Mortlock Wing as an enormous projection showed the Paitya men lighting a flame and sending the sparks up to become the stars.

Karl Telfer says the illuminations for the Fringe are breathing life and light into the stories that the stones of North Terrace buildings are old enough to remember - from before settlement, before they were carved from the ground.

“Tangkuinyendi Yabarra means ‘Dreaming Light’ and Dreaming is a way of feeling and knowing a story, as well as being a story in itself, so when people see the illuminations I want them to go ‘wow, I never knew those stories’ and I hope they bring their families out and come and sit and look, listen and dream.”

LIVING, BREATHING, GLISTENING STORIES

The Dreaming Light project draws on items held in the collections of the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia, placing them in a rich vibrant and symbolic context that highlights their significance to living culture.

It also highlights two very important North Terrace cultural buildings - the Mortlock Wing and the Institute Building at the State Library. The projections open the door to understanding more about the collections held by the State Library and its neighbour the South Australian Museum.

Each of the elements in the projection has involved large teams of South Australians including Paitya, Elders and language workers of the Kaurna people, visual artists, composers and animators, storytellers and curators, and a large team of support people from Mosaic AV, illuminart and Adelaide Fringe.

The Dreaming Light illumination also features an interpretive trail that describes the Kuarna stories that are so vividly lit.

Tangkuinyendi Yabarra – Dreaming Light - is a projection artwork commissioned by Adelaide Fringe as part of Fringe Illuminations. The story within the illuminations is from a cultural and artistic collaboration of Paitya, illuminart, the South Australian Museum and State Library of South Australia. It runs nightly from sunset to 1am, from 12-28 February 2016.