Dream debut

Ilona McGuire. Photos by Duncan Wright

NOONGAR artist Ilona McGuire says it was “surreal” to finally see a fleet of drones take to the sky for a dress rehearsal for her show Moombaki, which was due to launch the Fremantle Biennale on Friday (November 5).

“There’s really no words to describe what it felt to see how it interacts with the space, rather than viewing it on a screen,” McGuire told the Herald.

Moombaki uses 160 drones which are choreographed to fly over the Swan River and across the ocean to tell ancient Noongar Dreaming stories.

McGuire said using drones was the brainchild of Biennale artistic director Tom Muller, but it suited her art practice because she’s always trying new mediums to match the message she’s trying to convey.

She said she was aware of the weight on her shoulders while she and her elder father Walter worked on sharing the Dreaming stories.

“That was one of the more nerve-wracking things about it, because they are our stories, not just mine,” she said.

McGuire said the pair worked with other Noongar leaders to decide on what aspects of their culture to share, saying there’s still some stories considered too sensitive for a wider audience.

But she was proud of the outcome, hoping it will “do our ancestors justice”.

Moombaki is showing between Freo’s bridges from November 5 – 7, then moves to Attadale Reserve (Dyoondalup) for November 12 – 14 and finishes up at Coogee Beach (Derbarl Nara) on November 19 and 20.

For the Biennale calendar, head to fremantlebiennale.com.au

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