Recipient of the prestigious Dreaming Award in May 2014, Tyrone Sheather premiered his extraordinary public artwork, Giidanyba (Sky Beings) at the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens as part of the Dark MOFO 2015.
Giidanyba was developed at the SITUATE Art in Festivals Arts Lab held in Hobart 2013 alongside the first Dark Mofo. Dark MOFO Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said in RealTime Arts, “Tyrone Sheather’s Giidanyba [was commissioned] because of the melding of ancient mythology with high-tech, and his community’s commitment to sharing culture.”
The Dark Mofo program describes the installation: “Tyrone’s seven sculptures float amongst the trees, depicting nocturnal spirits of ancient Aboriginal mythology that impart knowledge and guidance to Gumbaynggirr people. As night falls and you move closer, these Giidanyba or ‘sky beings’ transform from unlit statues to bright, shimmering beings in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart, Tasmania.”
The work has been announced as part of WOMADelaide in South Australia in March 2017. The festival’s program describes it thus: “Indigenous artist Tyrone Sheather created Giidanyba, seven floating ‘sky beings’ that represent his spiritual ancestors, so that he could share Gumbaynggirr Dreaming culture in a contemporary way. Collaborating with Wiradjuri musician Shane Nelson, Giidanyba is an extraordinary sound and visual installation using ancient stories and new technology, where sound and light are made responsive to the movement of the audience.”
Giidanyba (Sky Beings)
by Tyrone Sheather
In the Dreaming (Yuludarla), the Hero-Ancestors made and transformed the landscape with their special powers of creation and destruction. Simulating a Gumbaynggirr rite of passage, Giidanyba symbolises these Spiritual Ancestors, as they descend from the Muurrbay Bundani (tree of life) in the sky, to support people throughout they’re cultural journey and to guide them into the next stage of their lives.
Emanating from within these spirit-like forms, sound and light are made responsive to the movement of audiences, via internal electronics, whilst the structural components of the installation are made of fibreglass and steel. Traditional ochres have been applied to the surface of individual figures by Gumbaynggirr community members, under the direction of the artist.
Tyrone Sheather is an artist of mixed heritage, belonging to the Gumbaynggirr people from the mid-north coast of New South Wales. His artistic practice spans, film, photography, new media, painting and dance. His work aims to explore identity and to reveal, through a combination of traditional and contemporary media, knowledge and stories that have been passed down over centuries within the Gumbaynggirr Dreamtime.
WOMADelaide 10-13 March 2017
Botanic Park, Adelaide
Official website: https://www.situate.org.au
Festival listing: https://www.womadelaide.com.au/program/tyrone-sheather
Dark MOFO 12 – 22 June 2015
Royal Botanical Gardens, Hobart