In 2017 contemporary artist Dr Christian Thompson AO was awarded the inaugural $80,000 Mordant Family VR Commission. His resulting work, Bayi Gardiya (Singing Desert), invited audiences to walk through the landscape of his childhood, where they witnessed a simple yet profound aesthetic gesture of the artist singing in his traditional Bidjara language, a recognised lost language.
Thompson collaborated with VR/AR developer Nakatomi to craft an emotive visual experience, to compliment the beautiful melancholic soundtrack performed by Thompson singing in Bidjara.
The location in which Bayi Gardiya is performed is a creek called The Sixth Mile in Barcaldine, western Queensland, the place where Thompson grew up.
Experience Bayi Gardiya (Singing Desert)
Bayi Gardiya was created to be seen in a VR headset, which remains the ideal viewing experience, however you can also see the work without a headset via the video above. Click and drag your mouse on the video to look around or use arrow keys.