At a Reception in Bennelong Restaurant tonight to mark the opening of Songlines – the first Indigenous lighting of the sails on Sydney Opera House – Paul O’Donnell and I agree that in our childhood experience, the whole ‘Aboriginal’ phenomenon was mute.
It’s striking here in 2016; here on this site of Tubowgule – ’where the knowledge waters meet’ – the salt and the fresh, that the meaning of being a contemporary Australian has new life breathed into it from this ancient tradition.
The Songlines are beautifully projected on the sails of the Sydney Opera House for Sydney-siders, visitors, and the whole world to see. Opera House CEO Louise Herron told the gathering it is the largest live event thus far on Facebook Australia.
Songlines is about connections between story, place, meaning, and human bodies – as written in an old Bundjalung song:
“when I’m away from country something is missing inside.
It’s the breathing part of my body, that makes my spirit feel alive”.