Yabarra – Dreaming in Light

2D Animation, Experience, Illustration, Pre-Visualisation, VFX, VR

The signature installation of the 2020 Adelaide Fringe Festival, Yabarra – Dreaming in Light, ran at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute from 12 Feb to 15 March. For the 31 days of the Fringe, from 10am until 10pm, over 40,000 people experienced the creation story of Tjilbruke, as interpreted by Karl Winda Telfer and the Williams clan.

Dreaming in Light tells the story of Tjirbruki, but there are so many other elements – the stories of the stars and the ancestors are so important … It’s about looking after and caring for our environment and protecting these few open space places we have left.” — Karl ‘Winda’ Telfer

Monkeystack co-produced the event with the Adelaide Fringe, Cultural and Creative Producer Karl Winda Telfer, Yellaka, implementation partners Novatech, Epson,  and support from the Government of South Australia, City of Adelaide, The University of Adelaide, Illuminart, MOD, and Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Insitute.

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After pre-visualisation and production was complete, Tandanya was transformed with animations and sounds created by the studio and projected by over 30 synchronised projectors and a 3D sound system onto screens made of hung gauze and other physical exhibits. The visual and audio narrative asked the audience to pause, look, and listen at significant places to contemplate the story. Overhead, a 30-metre continuous projection of The Milky Way was created to show the story of the constellations known to the Kaurna as emu, lizard and eagle led the audience to experience the next part of the story, which also included a fog ‘spirit wind’ superbly created by Novatech that amazed audiences. It was one of the most captured images of the experience. In collaboration with the South Australian Department for Education and Karl, Monkeystack produced the accompanying education resource. The resource was downloaded over 500 times by teachers and students.

It is a project that we are so immensely proud of and hope to see it tour the world as part of cultural exchange.

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An example of one of the animations that were made to tell the Kaurna story of constellations. This one is the eagle, who represents the creation of the Southern Cross, or the constellation Crux.

One of the native animated trees that were synchronised with the story and projected onto the gauze screens throughout the experience. This one is a Eucalyptus Silver Dollar.

Our sound engineer for the project, Carlos,  put together this entry for the Australian Screen Sound Guild Awards. It is a Stereo Binaural experience. Put on a good pair of headphones and enjoy what it was like to be at the event.