Following its simultaneous premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and the World Economic Forum Davos, COLLISIONS, a groundbreaking virtual reality experience by leading Australian artist and filmmaker Lynette Wallworth, will have its Sydney premiere as part of this year’s Homeground, the Opera House’s showcase of First Nations art and culture, on October 8-9.
Immersive, poetic and deeply moving, COLLISIONS is a combined live-action/animated journey to the homeland of Indigenous elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and the Martu people in the Western Australian Pilbara desert.
“Since its premiere at Davos in January this year we have been waiting for the moment we could show COLLISIONS in Australia,” artist Lynette Wallworth said. “I am excited that it will be a part of Homeground, Nyarri’s story contains a hidden history, held close till now, it is a powerful parable for the country.”
COLLISONS is Wallworth’s third work with the Martu people of the Western Desert. Narrated by Wallworth and Nyarri Nyarri Morgan’s grandson Curtis Taylor, it reminds us that everything we are about to see is what Nyarri Nyarri Morgan wants to show us. “He has,” Wallworth informs us, “a story he wants to share.”
Nyarri’s first contact with Western culture came in the 1950s, when he witnessed firsthand and with no context, an atomic test. VR technology allows audiences to travel virtually to the Pilbara to meet Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and hear his story shared with us from own own home ground.
Opera House Head of Indigenous Programming Rhoda Roberts AO says: “We are delighted to share Lynette’s latest work COLLISIONS. Homeground is about how we all connect to country. The opportunity that virtual reality technology affords to connect us with stories of our land and people is extremely powerful.”
With COLLISIONS, Homeground honours the heritage of the Opera House site on Bennelong Point, or Tubowgule, as it was known to the Gadigal people, a meeting place for thousands of years and the site of the first corroboree with white settlers.
The community centerpiece of the Homeground program is Dance Rites, Australia’s first national Indigenous Dance competition, at which community groups from across Australia will compete. Australian and international First Nations artists taking part in Homeground 2016 include East Journey, Trinity Roots, Leonard Sumner, Dubmarine and Mi-Kaisha Masella, dancers eXcelsior,NAISDA, Amrita Hepi and PNG Drummers. This year’s festival will also include the Homeground Arts Market, workshops, tours and a special festival menu curated by Indigenous chef Clayton Donovan.
COLLISIONS’ Sydney premiere will take place concurrently with Australian premiere seasons at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Lynette Wallworth was selected as the inaugural artist of the Sundance Institute New Frontier | Jaunt VR Residency Program and COLLISONS, funded with the support of the Adelaide Film Festival Fund, is the first project to be created as part of the program.
COLLISIONS is produced by Infinite Field with support from the World Economic Forum, the Sundance Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Fledgling Fund, the Pritzker Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Adelaide Film Festival Fund, in partnership with Jaunt VR.