Art takeover of 3D Anamorphic billboard in Melbourne’s CBD

A new digital artwork by Gumatj artist and filmmaker, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu from The Mulka Project, in North East Arnhem Land, will feature on the Bourke Street 3DA billboard for one week only through a new National Gallery and oOh!media partnership.

Transporting himself from North East Arnhem Land to Naarm/Melbourne’s CBD, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu’s Bäru Gurtha will premiere at 5.30pm on Monday 3 June on oOh!media’s Bourke Street billboard for a special 25 minute showing. The two-minute artwork will then feature on the billboard once every hour from 3-9 June reaching almost 100,000 pedestrians on average who pass the site every single day.

As a member of the Gumatj clan, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu holds deep reverence for the Ancestral Crocodile, Bäru, bearer of the Ancestral Fire, Gurtha. His artwork encapsulates a pivotal Ancestral narrative, depicting the moment Bäru first carried Gurtha from Maḏarrpa clan land to his Gumatj homeland of Birany’birany.

Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu is part of the The Mulka Project, a collective of Yolŋu digital artists based out of the Buku- Larrŋggay Mulka Art Centre in Yirrkala, Yolŋu Country. Collaborating with his team at The Mulka Project, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu who was born deaf, has crafted a new 3D digital artwork that incorporates his clan’s designs, totems and his cultural Yolŋu sign language to communicate their intrinsic connection.

The Bourke Street billboard is one of oOh!media’s full motion 3D anamorphic sites – a six-storey high screen and the largest outdoor animated site in Australia. This will be the first time a 3DA site has been activated with a work of art by a First Nations artist in Australia. Enlivening a busy public space with First Nations art, Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu’s new work will spark curiosity and capture the attention of commuters and passers by.

Dr Nick Mitzevich, National Gallery Director, said: ‘We are passionate about taking art beyond the walls of the Gallery and our partnership with oOh!media is a great example of finding new platforms to share art with the public. The Mulka Project is a dynamic collective of artists who work with cutting-edge digital technologies and Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu has created an exciting new work about his culture that takes full advantage of the 3DA full motion site.’

Josh Gurgiel, Head of Creative, oOh!media, said: ‘It’s an honour for our teams to work together to bring Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu’s powerful artwork out of the gallery and into such a prominent public space on our premium ‘The Bourke’ site. This collaboration highlights the innovative possibilities of digital art and 3D Anamorphic technology. We’re thrilled to provide a platform that connects cultural heritage and storytelling of Australia’s First peoples with modern technology, engaging audiences in a truly unique way.’

Bäru Gurtha follows a successful partnership with oOh!media to present the Know My Name Outdoor Art Event in February 2020 as part of the National Gallery’s gender equity initiative. Works by 45 Australian women artists from the national collection featured on some 3000 static and digital billboards nationally reaching over 12 million people.