World’s first immersive adventure in Indigenous art and culture

Grande Experiences, creators and producers of Van Gogh Alive, partner of the National Museum in a new digital experience

A unique Indigenous cultural event that takes visitors on a journey through land, water and sky opens at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on Wednesday June 8, 2022.

Connection: Australian First Peoples Songs in a Spectacular Immersive Experience brings the stories, art and culture of Australia’s First Peoples to life through multi-sensory projections and dynamic immersion.

A breathtaking production, Connection uses state-of-the-art visual, audio and aromatic technologies to transform original artwork by First Nations artists – including Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Albert Namatjira, Tommy Watson, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Anna Pitjara and Lin Onus – in an interactive celebration of country, culture and community.

Designed, created and developed by internationally renowned Grande Experiences, the National Museum of Australia is proud to host the world premiere.

The artistic programming represents the wonderful diversity of Australia’s First Nations people, featuring the work of emerging and established artists, mostly from remote areas, and featuring a wonderful soundtrack by Indigenous musicians, including William Barton, Yothu Yindi, Gurrumul, Emily Wurramara and Archie. Roach.

Revenues from Connexion will go towards improving and expanding Indigenous programs at the National Museum.

Margo Ngawa Neale, Senior Indigenous Curator at the National Museum and Consulting Curator on Connection, said, “The Museum is known for exploring and sharing the stories of First Peoples around the world, for increasing accessibility and for bringing our stories to life. There can be no better way to bring our song stories to life than through this awesome multi-sensory display from Connection.

“We are in the 21st century and young people populate the digital realm. If we want to expose them to Aboriginal art and culture, we need to meet them there,” Ms Neale said.

“Shows like this don’t replace static displays, but complement them and appeal to a wider range of people who wouldn’t otherwise visit galleries and museums. Multi-sensory experiences like this allow us to stage the exhibit in more places, more often, and for more Indigenous culture to be exhibited around the world,” said Ms. Neale.

Bruce Peterson, Founder and CEO of Grande Experiences, said: “Visitors will enjoy the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the art, history, spirit and vibrancy of Australia’s First Nations culture. We couldn’t be more excited and proud to bring the world premiere to the National Museum of Australia to bring an exclusive experience like this to the nation’s capital.

John-Paul Janke, Vice-Chair of the National Museum’s Indigenous Reference Group (IRG), said: “The National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Reference Group has been a strong supporter of Connection. This experience is a remarkable example of an exciting conjunction between First Nations culture and communities and contemporary digital storytelling. This show allows the Museum to share our stories with a wider audience in a new and innovative way.

Alison Page, Designer, Film Producer and National Museum WRI Fellow, said, “As a partner, the Museum sees itself as continuing its pioneering role with this ambitious first global experience that brings our artists and culture to audiences around the world.

Connection was organized by the team at Grande Experiences with Indigenous arts specialist Adam Knight, Indigenous artist photographer Wayne Quilliam, and supported by a curatorial advisory committee and leaders in the arts, including the principal Indigenous Curator and National Museum Scholar Margo Neale, Producer, Filmmaker and Artistic Director Rhoda Roberts AO and Indigenous Film Designer and Producer Alison Page.

The visitor experience immerses visitors in the spiritual connections between earth, water and sky through a vibrant, multi-sensory symphony of sound, light, color and aroma. Grande Experiences’ state-of-the-art technology will be used to create an interactive exhibition space that will envelop visitors in immersive large-scale projections and cinematic surround sound.

The art lineup of over 500 images and 25 music tracks from around 100 artists featured in Connection represents the diversity of Australia’s First Peoples, featuring images primarily from remote communities working in various art forms in across the country. This experience pays tribute to the vital contribution that First Nations artists, culture keepers and knowledge holders make to Australia’s artistic and cultural landscape. Works of art drawn from the National Museum’s collection are presented as digital projections in the new experience, alongside works from other public, private and corporate collections.

Learn more about Connection and tickets

The digital spectacular Connection opens June 8, 2022 for a limited season at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. The experience will be presented in the Museum’s spacious temporary gallery and will follow all government Covid-19 protocols. The creation of Connection: Songlines from Australia’s First Peoples in a spectacular immersive experience is supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund – an initiative of the Australian Government.

About the National Museum of Australia

Australia’s stories come to life at the National Museum of Australia on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. The museum tells the full story of Australia, from 65,000 years ago to the present day, through fascinating objects, ideas, events and exhibits, focusing on Indigenous stories and cultures, the arrival of Europeans and our interaction with the environment. The Museum’s exhibition program brings the cultures of the world to Australia and showcases Australia’s history and culture to the world.

About Great Experiences

Based in Melbourne, Grande Experiences, creator and producer of Van Gogh Alive, is a global leader in the creation, design, production, promotion and installation of large-scale exhibitions and multi-sensory immersive experiences with a wide cultural appeal, as well as entertaining and educational content. From concept to completion, Grande Experiences creates visually and technically stunning masterpieces and presents them around the world. His experiences have been presented more than 210 times in more than 165 cities, in 32 languages, on six continents, captivating 20 million visitors.

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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