One of Fremantle Biennale’s most iconic experiences is taking flight across the state next month.
Between March and July, breathtaking drone artwork First Lights will be presented in six unique shows across six regional West Australian locations, reaching all the way from Esperance to Exmouth and in to the East Pilbara.
The spectacular drone and light show First Lights: Moombaki was commissioned by Fremantle Biennale for the 2021 program, with 2022’s First Lights: Balarr Inyiny solidifying its status as a cornerstone of the festival.
The large-scale artworks utilise nearly 200 drones programmed with specialist 3D animation techniques – the technology allows for over four billion colour combinations, and has a minimal ecological footprint. As well as the mesmerising light show, the artwork is also created with the collaboration of musicians and composers to create an immersive, cinematic soundscape to accompany the visuals.
Each show will be led by Traditional Owners and Aboriginal artists, depicting a site-specific story that shares ancient knowledge, living stories and the history of each location.
One of those Traditional Owners is Hazel Walgar, who is the lead cultural knowledge holder for First Lights: Nyinggalu, which will be presented in Coral Bay and Exmouth.
“First Lights provides a platform for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal artists to come together, explore new artforms and share ancient and living stories of place that reflect our culture and identity,” she told us.
“First Lights creates a meaningful opportunity to centre local stories within a major contemporary art event,” added Tom Mùller, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Fremantle Biennale.
“The narratives connect to significant events in each region, sharing little-known knowledge, story and histories that aim to inspire celebration and unite the community.”
To find out more, head to the First Lights website.
Photos by Duncan Wright, courtesy of First Lights.