Immersive First Nations experience debuts in Canberra

July 1, 2022

Connection: Songlines from Australia’s First Peoples is a new digital immersive experience from the creators and producers of Van Gogh Alive which premiered at the National Museum of Australia (NMA), Canberra on 8 June. Grande Experiences present a multi-sensory interactive experience featuring artwork from over 100 First Nations artists. It consists of both contemporary and traditional work, which present magnificent and diverse landscapes from all corners of Australia. The exhibition expresses the spiritual connections to Country, encapsulating the sky, land, and water from the reaches of Torres Strait to Arnhem Land, the Central Desert and Northern Victoria.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Albert Namatjira, Maureen Baker, Timothy Cook and Lin Onus are just a small number of well-known First Nations artists featured.

Copyright Agency worked with Grande Experiences and the Connection curators to develop a licensing solution to cover the use of over 200 works by over 60 artists for large scale digital projections. The visual arts team facilitated approvals from artists and rightsholders across remote and regional Australia, ensuring artists were comfortable with the adaptation of their work to this new media and best protecting their rights for the ongoing touring show.

Visitors are taken on a journey which ignites the senses in sounds, visuals, and aromas. The individual artworks are transformed into large scale digital projections, from floor to ceiling and in every other direction.

Cinematic soundscapes can be heard as they walk through, with light and vibrant colour dancing off each corner of the exhibit. A musical score accompanies the visuals, featuring a blend of traditional ceremonial songs, and well known contemporary First Nations musicians.

Image Credit: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Earths Creation, 1994 © Emily Kame Kngwarreye/Copyright Agency, 2022. Image courtesy of Grande Experiences

As  Grande Experiences explain on their website: “Connection was developed and supported by a curatorial advisory panel of experts and leaders in the arts including producer, director and arts executive Rhoda Roberts AO, Indigenous photographic artist Wayne Quilliam, Aboriginal arts specialist Adam Knight and National Museum lead Indigenous curator Margo Neale. The National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Reference Group have also been strong supporters for the creation of the experience including members John-Paul Janke and Alison Page.”

Copyright Agency and our network of international partners are handling more requests for immersive licensing experiences such as Connection, which is becoming an increasingly popular format for large scale exhibitions of this kind. We are continually adapting our licensing terms and agreements to best protect our members as technology advances and digital use evolves.

The experience will run at the NMA until 9 October and will then embark on an international tour, which will showcase the incredible talent of the First Nations artists of Australia to the world stage in celebration of their culture, Country, and community. Under Copyright Agency’s agreement artists will continue to receive royalties as the show tours.

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