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Qantas tribute to artist who began painting near age 80

March 6, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The art of an Aboriginal artist who only began painting when she was approaching the age of 80 adorns Qantas’ newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which touched down in Alice Springs just before the weekend.

The livery showcases the artwork of the late Northern Territory artist and senior Anmatyerre woman, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Based on her 1991 painting, Yam Dreaming, the design depicts the culturally significant yam plant, an important symbol in Emily’s Dreaming stories and a staple food source in her home region of Utopia, 230km northeast of Alice Springs.

Adapted by leading Indigenous owned design studio Balarinji, this special livery took a team of 60 people more than 10 days to complete.

Qantas’ newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touches down in Alice Springs

The aircraft touched down in Alice Springs shortly after dawn on Friday, following a 13,000km journey from Boeing’s Seattle facility. Members of Emily’s family were joined by government officials and local community members in welcoming the plane.

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said it was an honour to be in Alice Springs to receive the airline’s newest Dreamliner with Indigenous livery.

“It is a privilege to welcome home this special aircraft together with Emily’s family, close to her home Country. We’re thrilled to showcase her striking artwork on our newest Dreamliner.

“As the aircraft enters our international fleet, we believe this Dreamliner, through colour and image, will tell a story of our unique Australian landscape and, by sharing our Indigenous culture with the world, the important story of reconciliation,” Joyce said.

Registered as VH-ZND, this aircraft carries the fifth design in the Qantas Flying Art Series which started more than 20 years ago and is the only one dedicated to international flights.

It will fly several domestic services for crew familiarisation before it enters service on international routes in late March.

The aircraft is the fourth Dreamliner to enter the Qantas fleet, following the arrival of Great Southern Land, Waltzing Matilda and Quokka.

Edited by Peter Needham

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