[MEL14]





Website

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Project Overview

Visitors enter a spiritual space to see and feel, creation in motion - past, present and future.

The Creation Cinema, is an immersive multi-sensory experience inviting visitors to share a moment of spiritual and sensory awakening. It represents the essence of creation for the First Peoples across most of Victoria, showing their spiritual connection to country.

Inspired by the notion of continuity and the omni-present nature of creation, the centerpiece of this experience, a large kinetic sculpture, symbolises Bunjil the Creator, a wedge tail eagle in flight. It also reflects a universal motion seen throughout nature - the movement of a wave, the lines of a mountain range, the undulations of a river, a snake moving across the land.

The experience hopes to trigger reflections on the deep symbolism and resonance of Bunjil, who represents culture, the law, the land and the people.

Project Commissioner

Museum Victoria

Project Creator

Eness

Team

Museum Victoria:
Caroline Martin, Manager Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Judith Penrose, Producer First Peoples exhibition
Genevieve Grieves, Lead Curator
Vicki Couzens, Senior Researcher, Language and Culture
Amanda Reynolds, Senior Curator
Peter Wilson, Lead Designer
Monica Zetlin, Multimedia Producer

Eness:
Steve Mieszelewicz, Managing Director
Nimrod Weis, Creative Director
Chris Newbury, Industrial Engineer
Kate Spencer, Project Manager
Adam Templeton, Programmer
David Vu, Digital Designer
Byron Scullin, Sound Design & Composition

The Creation Cinema is a unique collaboration between the Museum Vicotria’s project team, Eness, the creative design studio and representatives from the Aboriginal community of Victoria. Funding for the Creation Cinema was supplied in part through the John T Reid Charitable Trust.

Eness is an award winning art and design practice, based in Melbourne Australia creating meaningful interactive installation works from strategy, concept, implementation and evaluation. Our work has been exhibited worldwide in Museums of modern art, the Frenchiest of snowy Alps, to the streets of Mumbai.

We create interactive art installations that combine varying disciplines, from fine art to software, architecture, music and even sport. We have pioneered the art of 3d projection mapping and real-time motion tracking of human movement in theatre, sporting events, and public installations. Our work often blurs the virtual with our physical surrounding, encouraging audiences to participate in our hyper-real world.

Museum Victoria contracted Eness to provide a key multimedia experience within the new exhibition at Melbourne Museum called First Peoples. This multimedia, the Creation Cinema, is a unique collaboration between the Museum's exhibition team, Eness and the Aboriginal community led by the Yulendj Group (Yulendj is a word from the Kulin language family meaning ‘knowledge’). Throughout development and production, Elders and community members provided input in order to make the experience as authentic and evocative as possible.

From mid 2012 to the exhibition opening in late 2013, the team at ENESS worked in close collaboration with the exhibition team, especially the Aboriginal curatorial staff, to ensure a one-of-a-kind visitor experience.

The sculpture is suspended in the centre of a circular space within the exhibition, which is a representation of Bunjil's nest The kinetic sculpture is brought to life with striking visuals, an evocative soundscape and a poetic narrative that conveys the significance of Creation, Bunjil and the Aboriginal Ancestor spirits. They listen to a song-like narration, spoken by Aboriginal actors and Elders Jack Charles and Pauline Whyman, along with a spoken translation in various Aboriginal languages of Victoria.

Cross cultural engagement was vital to the authenticity of this experience; this engagement ensured that the script and delivery of content conveyed the appropriate sense of awe and wonder.

Project Brief

Bunjil is the creator ancestor, he takes the form of an eagle, a constellation and sometimes a man. To stand in the presence of Bunjil would surely be breathtaking – this was the challenge.

The Museum contracted Eness to assist with the conceptualisation and realisation of a major multimedia experience that would express the centrality of Ancestor and Creation Stories to local Aboriginal peoples. The bespoke build would be completed within schedule and budget, and would continue to function 7 days a week, 362 days a year for the next 10+ years.

This was to form a part of Museum Victoria’s redevelopment of Bunjilaka – the Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum. Building on a solid foundation and a collaborative spirit that Bunjilaka embodies, the new long term 1200m2 exhibition First Peoples invites visitors to connect with Aboriginal people, culture and history.

It contains content that challenges preconceptions, uncovers hidden histories and inspires audiences to learn more. Personal and evocative stories provide emotive experiences that engender pride in the Aboriginal community and create deeper understanding of the Aboriginal experience for a wide audience, and bring contemporary relevance and access to the Museum’s outstanding collections.

Project Innovation/Need

The Creation Cinema is a highly creative and original museum experience. To our knowledge, nowhere else in the world is the combination of kinetic sculpture, projected visuals, ambient sound and narration being utilised in a museum context to communicate the depth of content revealed through the Creation Cinema.

On one level visitors are immersed in the beauty of the majestic form in flight, then the installation adds layers of specific content in the form of imagery, ambient sound and narration which make this a rich and memorable visitor experience. The content is created by a real-time generative particle system responding to the wings’ direction – an evolving system creating a unique viewing for each story cycle.

The use of 3D motion mapping onto a kinetic form is highly innovative and has been made possible through the use of Eness' proprietary 3D software. Visuals are map directly onto the 3-dimentional form, tracking each feather in motion creating an undistorted seamless image.

The immersive experience hopes to trigger reflections on the deep symbolism and resonance of Bunjil, who represents culture, the law, the land and the people.

Design Challenge

Eness sets out to create magic with technology and art, intending to draw in the viewer, providing an immediately accessible experience that is universally understood.

This illuminated timeless piece, brought to life through contemporary technology holds the viewer in a space where an ancient story becomes tangible and relevant, providing immediate insight and in this way embodies the essence of Bunjil the creator ancestor.

At once clearly mechanical and then with the surge of the wings and lift in music it is floating and surely weightless. For curious viewers, looking up the mechanics of the construction are harmonious in their execution as they echo the undulations of the majestic wing span, reminiscent of a musical instrument as it plays out the story of creation from its strings. One motor drives the mechanism based on the form of a sine curve, a fluid infinite movement.

With no designated vantage point other natural forms reveal themselves, evoking waves, oceans and mountains , the experience becomes individual and intimate, allowing each person to encounter their own understanding of Bunjil.

By it’s very nature it reflects the transformative story of Bunjil, both physical and metaphorical.

Sustainability

Created by the project team this work is locally designed and built as a one-off installation that is not for mass production in an age of consumerism, rather as one experience to be shared by many. It aims to contribute to the sustainability of Indigenous culture in our contemporary society where the First Peoples’ culture is alive, accessible and relevant. A spiritual space to see and feel, creation in motion - past, present and future.


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This award celebrates innovative and creative design for a temporary building, interior, exhibition, fixture or interactive element. Consideration given to materials, finishes, signage and experience.


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