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Illustrations projected onto the Eastern sail of the Opera House. Two women and a bird


Badu Gili: Wonder Women

Lighting of the sails


Badu Gili - meaning 'water light' in the language of the traditional owners of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal people - is a free daily experience that explores First Nations stories in a spectacular six-minute projection on the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sails.

Watch the sails illuminate with Badu Gili: Wonder Women, a new projection celebrating the work and stories of six female First Nations artists, created in collaboration between the Opera House and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, to mark the Gallery’s 150th anniversary.

The lighting of the sails takes place each day from sunset, 7pm, 7.30pm and 8pm*.

Best viewed from the top of the Monumental Steps | View Map
 

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. 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 a performance and on a tour. Please bring your own mask;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practice physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage.

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

Screenings from sunset, 7pm, 7.30pm and 8pm.* Click + to view daily scheduled times.

*Timings are subject to change with the seasons and Forecourt events. 

Badu Gili will screen only at sunset from 27 May to 18 June due to Vivid. 

May 2022

May 22 

Sunset

Lighting 2

Lighting 3

Lighting 4

1 May

5.40PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

2 May

5.39PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

3 May

5.38PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

4 May

5.37PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

5 May

5.37PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

6 May

5.36PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

7 May

5.35PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

8 May

5.34PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

9 May

5.33PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

10 May

5.32PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

11 May

5.32PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

12 May

5.31PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

13 May

5.30PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

14 May

5.30PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

15 May

5.29PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

16 May

5.28PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

17 May

5.28PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

18 May

5.27PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

19 May

5.26PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

20 May

5.26PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

21 May

5.25PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

22 May

5.25PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

23 May

5.24PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

24 May

5.24PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

25 May

5.23PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

26 May

5.23PM

7PM

7.30PM

8PM

27 May

5.23PM

-

-

-

28 May

5.22PM

-

-

-

29 May

5.22PM

-

-

-

30 May

5.22PM

-

-

-

31 May

5.21PM

-

-

-

Free event

Badu Gili: Wonder Women is a free event for everyone to enjoy. It is the first year-round sails lighting experience to be launched by the Opera House.

Make the most of your Opera House experience — arrive early to take a tour or stay after sunset to enjoy a show or one of our many on-site restaurants.

Projection runs for approximately 6 minutes

Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.

Wheelchair accessible and Audio-described version available

Watch audio-described live stream here.

Find out more information about accessibility at Sydney Opera House.

Suitable for all ages

Young people under the age of 15 must be accompanied at all times.

Celebrating First Nations culture 

A celebration of the rich history and contemporary vibrancy of Australia’s First Nations culture, Badu Gili continues the traditions of Bennelong Point, formerly known as Tubowgule ('where the knowledge waters meet'), a gathering place for community, ceremony and storytelling for thousands of years.

Badu Gili: Wonder Women, curated by Art Gallery of New South Wales Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Coby Edgar, is a creative collaboration between the Opera House and the Art Gallery of New South Wales to mark the Gallery’s 150th anniversary. The vibrant new animation of artworks weaves together the works and stories of six female First Nations artists from across Australia. Find out more about the artists below.

An important pillar of the Opera House’s year-round First Nations program, Badu Gili is an essential Sydney cultural experience for both visitors and the local community that aims to foster and celebrate a shared sense of belonging for all Australians.

View the Sydney Opera House Reconciliation Action Plan

Badu Gili: Wonder Women is proudly funded by the NSW Government through the Culture Up Late initiative, which is part of the Summer in the City program.

Badu Gili has been enabled by the Opera House, its Idealist donors and the Australia Council for the Arts since 2017.

 

Badu Gili: Wonder Women, featuring Marlene Gilson, projected onto the Sydney Opera House's eastern Bennelong sails. © the artist, photo by Daniel Boud.

Meet the Badu Gili: Wonder Women artists

Marlene Gilson

Community: Ballarat, South-east region  
Language group: Wwathawurru, South-east region

Born in 1944 in Warrnambool, Victoria, Marlene Gilson is recognised for her naïve-style paintings that question the colonial grasp on the past by reclaiming and recontextualising the representation of historical events. She typically explores Aboriginal stories relating to her Wadawurrung lands and stories from the Victorian goldfields. Gilson is descended from King Billy, a leader from Ballarat who was alive during the Eureka Stockade. Bunjil, the eagle, and Waa, the crow, are present in all of Gilson’s works.

Art caption:
Marlene Gilson   
'Ballarat, my country' 2019   
Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 120 x 150 cm   
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mollie Gowing Acquisition fund for Contemporary Aboriginal art 2020   
© Marlene Gilson   
Photo: AGNSW, Diana Panuccio

Judith Inkamala

Community: Ntaria (Hermannsburg), Central Desert region 
Language group: Western Arrarnta, Central Desert region

Judith Inkamala is the chairperson and a senior member of Hermannsburg Potters Aboriginal Corporation, having joined the founding group of artists in 1993. Inkamala is an inspiring and respected leader in her community of Ntaria (Hermannsburg) in the Northern Territory, recognised for her unwavering dedication and commitment to intergenerational sharing of cultural and ceramic knowledge.  In her works, Inkamala depicts her lived histories and distinct Western Arranta Country. Like many Western Arrarnta artists, Inkamala’s painting style is informed by the watercolours of Albert Namatjira and the work of his peers at Ntaria. 

Art caption:
Judith Inkamala   
'Ura Kngarra Mpintjama (A big fire is coming)' 2020   
Terracotta and underglazes, 44 x 31 cm   
Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Mollie Douglas Bequest Fund 2020   
© Judith Inkamala   
Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins

Sally M. Nangala Mulda

Community: Titjikala, Central Desert region  
Language group: Luritja, Central Desert region

Sally M Nangala Mulda was born in 1957 at Titjikala, south of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), to parents from the Erldunda and Aputula regions. She went to school at Amoonguna. After losing the use of her left arm in a childhood accident, Mulda later faced the challenge of losing her sight in one eye. She married and had her only child as a young woman, but lost both her husband and her baby daughter. Widowed and without children, she lived with friends and extended family in Mparntwe for many years. Having never painted before joining Tangentyere Artists in 2008, from the outset Mulda sought to record the interactions that constitute life for so many Aboriginal people today. 

Art caption:
Sally M. Nangala Mulda   
'Tail get cold...' 2018   
Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 45 x 90 cm   
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mollie Gowing Acquisition fund for Contemporary Aboriginal art 2019   
© Sally M Nangala Mulda
Photo: AGNSW, Diana Panuccio

Marlene Rubuntja

Community: Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Central Desert region  
Language group: Western Arrernte, Central Desert region

Marlene Rubuntja is an Arrernte woman, born in 1961 in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). She lives and works on the Yarrenyty Arltere Town Camp. Rubuntja is an artist whose practice is embedded deeply in humour, story, generosity and place. With a profound insight into the complex issues of life in Central Australia, she has found a way, through her art, to celebrate the beauty, question the injustices, and showcase the unique resilient spirit of Mparntwe. As a senior artist at Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, Rubuntja works with soft sculpture, ink on paper, film and storytelling. 

Art caption:
Marlene Rubuntja   
'Woman with Dilly Bags and Dilly Bag hat' 2019   
Mixed media, plastic, woolen blankets dyed with bush plants, cotton, wool, hessian, feathers, 26 x 31 x 34 cm   
Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors Group 2019   
© Marlene Rubuntja       
Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins

Elaine Russell

Community: Sydney, South-east region 
Language group: Kamilaroi, Northern Riverine region

Aunty Elaine Russell was born in 1941 at Tingha, New South Wales, and spent her early years at La Perouse in Sydney. Her family then moved to the Murrin Bridge mission, on the Lachlan River, near Lake Cargelligo, New South Wales. Russell began her formal artistic career in 1993, at the age of 52, when she enrolled in the Certificate of Visual Arts course at the Eora Centre TAFE (Technical and Further Education) in Redfern, Sydney. Russell’s illustrative paintings of mission life, such as attending school and routine inspection days, are animated in her bold and colourful style. 

Elaine passed away in 2017, but her legacy and stories remain integral to the narrative of Aboriginal people’s experiences in New South Wales.

Art caption:
Elaine Russell   
'Lachlan River, our childhood dreams' 1994   
Synthetic polymer paint on cardboard, 73.2 x 99.9 cm 
Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Australian Collection Benefactors Program 1995   
© Estate of Elaine Russell   
Photo: AGNSW, Christopher Snee

Kaylene Whiskey

Community: Indulkana, Southern Desert region  
Language group: Yankunytjatjara, Southern Desert region  

Kaylene Whiskey lives in Indulkana Community on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the remote north-west of South Australia and works at Iwantja Arts. Her paintings celebrate heroic women, pop culture idols and traditional Aṉangu culture, reflecting the blended reality that is contemporary life in a remote Indigenous community of Central Australia. Her practice links the culture of her community’s elders with the experience of the younger generation who have grown up with contemporary influences.

Art caption:
Kaylene Whiskey   
'Dolly visits Indulkana' 2020   
Acrylic on linen with plastic jewels, 168 x 198.5 cm   
Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors Group 2020   
© Kaylene Whiskey       
Photo: AGNSW, Mim Stirling

Coby Edgar infront of artworks

Meet curator Coby Edgar

Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of NSW

Coby Edgar is a Larrakia, English, Filipino woman from Darwin. Now based in Sydney, Coby is curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Since joining the Gallery in 2016, Coby curated Joy, which brought together works by artists from Central Australia and celebrated the importance and joy of making art; she worked on the Gallery’s online social project, Together in Art; and contributed ‘Sentient portraits’ to the Gallery’s recent Archie Plus project (2020-21), whereby the voices of artists could be heard alongside their works. In 2015, she was Assistant Curator of TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Play media
Click to watch curator introduction

Watch Audio-described live stream

Where to Eat and Drink before and after Badu Gili

Satisfy your hunger at one of the many restaurants and bars here at the Opera House. Start your evening at Bennelong Restaurant enjoying their Badu Gili mocktail and meal from their à la carte menu.

See our Restaurants

Badu Gili mocktail

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a COVID Safe business?

Yes. The Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government.  

What safety and hygiene measures are in place?

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. Our COVID-19 health and safety information is available on the 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. 

Do I need a ticket for this event?

No. When you arrive at the Opera House, make your way up the Monumental Steps to the Podium where you will enjoy the best view of the sunset projection. 

Can I take photos during the event?

Yes – we encourage everyone to capture this special experience. If you post on social media, please tag #BaduGili or #BaduGiliWonderWomen to share your photos or video with us.

What are the transport options to the Opera House?

You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 minute walk to the Opera House. If you’re getting dropped off in a car, head to the roundabout at the bottom of Macquarie Street where staff will direct you to a safe place to pull over.

Driving? Park in Wilson’s Car Park, you’re just minutes to your tour meeting point. Need a bit more info? Click here

What time do I need to arrive? 

It’s a great idea to arrive early, grab a drink and soak up the view.

Please note sunset varies each day so be sure to check sunset times on the day. 

What should I wear?

Badu Gili: Wonder Women is an outdoor event, during winter we recommend dressing warmly.

Where can I eat nearby?

Satisfy your hunger at one of the many restaurants and bars here at the Opera House. Our restaurants offer everything from casual snacks to award-winning fine dining. Find what you’re after, see our Restaurants

Can I take food and drink to the Podium?

Please check with our staff when you arrive. 

Will the building works at the Opera House affect this event?

You'll  notice  that Sydney Opera House has building works underway around the precinct. This will not impact your visit, it’s business as usual! For more information head to the Renewal pages.

Badu Gili: Wonder Women has been enabled by the NSW Government through Culture Up Late. 

Proudly funded by

New South Wales Government

Curator

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