Skip Links
A long dark space with indigenous Australian illustrations projected onto the ceiling and walls in green and blue hues.

TRACES

A voice-to-art experience by Ballardong Noongar, Nimunburr and Yawuru artist Kamsani Bin Salleh & Gunai writer Kirli Saunders that brings yarns to life, eliciting Country.

Produced by Sydney Opera House with Magabala Books and Google Creative Lab as part of Vivid LIVE 2022

TRACES is an interactive voice-to-art installation that takes audio signals including volume, pitch, pace and intonation and creates a projected visual artwork that responds and unfolds in real-time. An Indigenous-led project, TRACES fuses generative art, projection, spoken word and interactive audio-to-visual technology. The artwork is based on an illustration by Ballardong Noongar, Nimunburr and Yawuru artist Kamsani Bin Salleh, with colour palettes drawn from satellite imagery that follows a path across Country from the east coast to the west coast. Poetry by Kirli Saunders invites the audience to listen and to respond, in turn eliciting the traces of the stories that connect us and the many shapes and colours of Country.

Across the Friday and Saturday evenings, First Nations artists Dakota Feirer, Daniel Browning, Dub Leffler, Jasmine Seymour, Kirli Saunders, Nardi Simpson and Teela Reid will present poetry and spoken word performances in the space, activating the artwork and generating movement with their voices.

The digital art installation is exhibited in a new purpose-built venue with state-of-the-art technology, 270-degree visuals and surround sound, as well as heritage-inspired interiors. To locate the space, walk underneath the monumental stairs toward Bennelong Passage. Access is via the Western Foyers.

Access via the Western Foyers | Digital Art Installation

COVID-safe and event information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes that have been implemented to keep the community safe, which are regularly reviewed and updated in consideration of the Public Health Order prevailing at the time. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage; and
  • Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

Please refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the event date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their event.

Please check our plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

This is a free event

This is a free non-ticketed event

Installation open Friday 27 May, Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May 2022

Installation open Friday 27 May, Saturday 28 May and Sunday 29 May 2022. Audiences are invited to drop into the installation space any time during the open hours listed below. 

  • Friday 27 May 2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm (7pm poetry reading and spoken word performance will take place for approximately 60 minutes)
    • MC: Kirli Saunders
    • Performers: Dub Leffler, Nardi Simpson, Teela Reid
  • Saturday 28 May 2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm (7pm poetry reading and spoken word performance will take place for approximately 60 minutes)
    • MC: Daniel Browning
    • Performers: Kirli Saunders, Jasmine Seymour, Dakota Feirer
  • Sunday 29 May 2022 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Creative team

Kirli Saunders | Poet

Kirli Saunders is a proud Gunai Woman and award-winning writer, artist and consultant. An experienced speaker and facilitator advocating for the environment, gender and racial equality and LGBTIQA+ rights, Kirli was the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year (2020). In 2022, she will release Returning (Magabala Books) and Our Dreaming (Scholastic). You can find her at Brisbane Writers Festival, Blak & Bright, Byron Writers Festival, Littlescribe & Enough Said.

Instagram: @kirli.saunders

Kamsani Bin Salleh | Illustrator

Kamsani Bin Salleh is descended from the Ballardong Noongar, and Nimunburr and Yawuru people of the Kimberley region in Western Australia. He is a multidisciplinary artist who reflects the natural world and the evolution of traditional customs. Kamsani explores and subverts often negative representations of First Nations Peoples within mass-media. Encouraging intergenerational storytelling through art, Kamsani hopes to create a strong sense of community and pride in our collective identities.

Instagram: @kambarni

Dub Leffler | Author and Illustrator

(Performing Friday 27 May)

Descendent from the Bigambul people of South-West Queensland, Dub Leffler is one of Australia’s most sought-after illustrators of children’s literature. As well as an illustrator, Dub is the author of two children’s books and is currently illustrating his 25th title. Dub’s work has afforded him travel to places such as remote Australia, Europe, Indonesia and America, and his illustrations are in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Instagram: @dubleffler

Nardi Simpson | Author and Storyteller

(Performing Friday 27 May)

Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay storyteller from NSW’s north west freshwater plains. A musician, composer and playwright, Nardi is the author of Song of the Crocodile published by Hachette Australia and winner of the black&write Fellowship (2018), Australian Literary Society Gold Medal (2021) and Queensland Literary Award Fiction Book Award (2021). Nardi is currently undertaking a PhD in composition at ANU researching the traditions of song and story in her beloved Yuwaalaraay homelands and in 2022 will feature in Sweatshop’s Another Australia, an anthology of twelve diverse Australian writers published by Affirm Press.

Instagram: @nardiga

Teela Reid | Lawyer and Storyteller

(Performing Friday 27 May)

Teela Reid is a proud Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman, lawyer, essayist, storyteller and co-founder of @blackfulla_bookclub, a platform that honours First Nation’s Ancestors as the original Storytellers. Currently, Teela is a Sydney-based Senior Solicitor practising in Aboriginal Land Rights litigation and is the inaugural Lawyer in residence at Sydney Law School. She is also a campaigner for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Instagram: @teelareid

Jasmine Seymour | Author and Illustrator

(Performing Saturday 28 May)

Jasmine Seymour is a Darug woman and descendant of Maria Lock, who was the daughter of Yarramundi, the Boorooberongal elder who had met Governor Phillip on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in 1791. Maria was the first Aboriginal woman to be educated by the Blacktown Native Institute. She was married to carpenter and convict, Robert Lock and their union resulted in thousands of descendants who can all trace their Darug heritage back past Yarramundi. Jasmine has published two award-winning children’s picture books and illustrated a third. She is a member of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation.

It is Jasmine’s wish that through her books, everyone will know that the Darug mob are still here, still strong. Jasmine is a primary school teacher in the Hawkesbury area of NSW.

Instagram: @jasmine_seymour_gudyung

Dakota Feirer | Poet

(Performing Saturday 28 May)

Dakota Feirer is a Bundjalung and Gumbaynggirr man, based on Turrbal Lands with cultural ties to Yuin Country. As a young and emerging poet he has performed for live audiences including Yours and Owls Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Emerging Writers Festival and Sydney Biennale 2022. Dakota is also featured on the project Dreamy, a series of sleep stories by First Nations storytellers. Dakota believes in healing Country and our communities through art and storytelling.

Instagram: @Dakotafeirer

Daniel Browning | Creator and Presenter

(Performing Saturday 28 May)

Daniel is host of RN's The Art Show. Since majoring in painting at university, Daniel has worked as a journalist, broadcaster, and sound artist. He has worked across news and current affairs, including a stint as triple j's news director. The Bundjalung and Kullilli man presented RN's Awaye! for many years and leads the ABC's Indigenous Radio Unit.

Creative Partners

Magabala Books

Magabala Books is Australia’s leading Indigenous publishing house, based in Broome WA. Aboriginal owned and led, they publish First Nations authors, artists and illustrators from all over Australia. As a not-for-profit publishing house, they are an advocate and guardian, protecting the cultural and intellectual property rights of creators, with a strong focus on developing new and emerging First Nations writers, illustrators and one-time storytellers.

Instagram: @magabalabooks
Twitter: @MagabalaBooks
Facebook: @magabalabooks

Google

Google Creative Lab is a group of interdisciplinary thinkers and doers, consisting of designers, writers, business leaders, filmmakers, animators, producers, creative technologists, and much more. The small team pushes for an impact that outweighs its footprint. There are Creative Labs in NYC, London, and Sydney.

Instagram: @google
Twitter: @GoogleDownUnder
Facebook: @GoogleDownUnder

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

What safety measures have you implemented?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government. For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you when visiting, please see our plan your visit page.

What am I required to do as an audience member?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

Within venues, always take your allocated seat.

For detailed information about our COVID-19 safety measures and what’s required of you, please see our plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to visit the Sydney Opera House?

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Am I required to wear a mask?

Face masks are strongly recommended for all patrons while inside our theatres and foyers, including during the performance. Please bring your own mask.

How are you managing contact tracing? 

Contact information is required when making a booking with us and upon arrival at the Opera House, as set out in our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events and our Customer Privacy Statement.

As the ticket purchaser, you are responsible for recording the contact details of your guests. Contact information will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing, if required, and will be deleted at least 28 days after your event.

You may also like...

vivid-live-nils-frahm-web-1600x1200.jpg
Nils Frahm: Music For Sydney
15 Jun 2022 - 17 Jun 2022
A sonic alchemist of classical, ambient and electro, Germany's Nils Frahm returns to Vivid LIVE for the world premiere of ‘Music For ...’, featuring new music in this completely new live show, Music for Sydney.
vivid-live-moses-sumney-web-1600x1200.jpg
Moses Sumney
12 Jun 2022
Acclaimed avant-soul artist Moses Sumney returns to the Sydney Opera House for a hypnotic performance at Vivid LIVE.
vivid-live-htrk-web-1600x1200.jpg
HTRK
27 May 2022
Melbourne’s internationally renowned underground icons HTRK make their long-awaited Sydney Opera House debut at Vivid LIVE, transforming the Drama Theatre with their signature, sensual doom.

Make your gift

Your gift opens the Opera House to everyone in the community.

Give now