Who Are Nalanji & Wunala?

Sat Jun 23, 2001 2:11 pm

The names are featured on two of Qantas' special liveries. Are those the names of two famous Aborigenese?

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Photo © Andrew Hunt

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Photo © Andrew Hunt

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RE: Who Are Nalanji & Wunala?

Sat Jun 23, 2001 2:16 pm

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RE: Who Are Nalanji & Wunala?

Sat Jun 23, 2001 3:01 pm

Here you go:

The story of "Wunala" started thousands of years ago with ancient Dreamtime journeys of Australia's Aboriginal people and continues with the most advanced technology available for your own travels.
To celebrate our spectacular country, so rich with its diverse cultural heritage and natural beauty, in 1994 Qantas commissioned a painting from an internationally-renowned design firm, Balarinji Designs, in Adelaide, South Australia. A team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists developed distinctive imagery using a contemporary graphic style featuring motifs from Northern and Central Australia to create one of the world's largest pieces of modern art - a unique Boeing 747-400.

The natural colours of the country have inspired the artists' palette, from the bright reds of Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset to the blue-lavenders that define the Flinders Ranges lining the Centre's desert horizon. And if you've ventured into the wetlands of Kakadu, you'll recognise the lush apple-green.

The Dreamtime Legend

The Aboriginal people of Australia boast the world's oldest continuous culture dating back some 40,000 years. It is passed on through Dreamtime legends. John and Ros Moriarty, principals of Balarinji Design, explain the 'Wunala Dreaming' of the Yanyuwa people from the Gulf of Carpenteria:

"In dreamtime journeys, spirit ancestors in the form of kangaroos (Wunala) made tracks from camps to waterholes, leading the people to water and food. Today, as they have for centuries, Aboriginal people re-enact such journeys through song and dance 'corroborees'. These ensure the procreation of all living things in the continuing harmony of nature's seasons."

Modern Mythology

As is the case with much modern art, the painting of this plane is a bold blending of old and new. Wunala Dreaming was digitalised on computer and magnified 100 times to generate 2 kilometres of blotting paper. This allowed the 67 patterns - including 1324 irregular dots - to be traced onto this Boeing 747-400 aircraft, the most advanced aviation technology available for commercial travel.


Artist : The Balarinji Design Studio, Australia

At the centre of the ancient Aboriginal culture are the 'Dreamtime' stories, which chronicle the actions of the beings who created the world and everything in it. It was only in the 1970s, however, that Aboriginal artists began to commit the Dreamings on to a permanent visual format, using a complex dotting technique which helps their sacred symbols from the uninitiated. The Balarinji Design Studio produces colourful, abstract images which describe Australia's natural environment and the cultural stories of it's original inhabitants. 'Nalanji Dreaming' ('Our Place, Australia') was created in 1995 for a Qantas aircraft. Its theme is Manhanthara Nalanji - the way in which the environment is preserved for new generations.

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