First Nations story to illuminate the Australian National Maritime Museum for Vivid Sydney 2024

Australian National Maritime Museum

As part of Vivid Sydney 2024, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest multi-artform festival, the Australian National Maritime Museum is proud to present Barani, a story that stretches back thousands of years, exploring themes of humanity, compassion and connection.

This immersive experience of animation, sound and storytelling will be projected onto the museum rooftop daily from May 24 to June 15 from 6pm until 11pm.

Developed by Studio Gilay, Barani is a bittersweet narrative set in Warrane (Sydney Cove) 500 years ago, juxtaposing humanity’s current existence with a time of harmony between humans and nature. The story, rich in historical and cultural value, prompts audiences to reconsider the history of the land under their feet.

Barani, a Gadigal word meaning yesterday, offers a bittersweet narrative, rich with historical and cultural significance. It provides a new way to see the land on which we stand today. Using a unique blend of modern digital illustration and First Nations iconography, a moving coming-of-age and mother and son story unfolds before us. Through this relationship, themes of love, connection, independence and the inextricable link between humanity and nature are explored.

The beauty of Barani and the juxtaposition of the story again the modern Sydney skyline, invites us to examine our current relationship to nature. This story, from a Sydney Harbour many moons ago, is a reminder to heed First Nations wisdom and to connect more deeply with the world around us.

Museum Director and CEO Ms Daryl Karp AM said, ‘Based on the Vivid Sydney 2024 theme – Humanity, we have developed this story with the talents of Studio Gilay. We wanted to tell a story of the harbour that surrounds us and the people who protected it for generations. It teaches us to stop and listen, to look and to learn, to connect and protect what surrounds us.’

We encourage viewing from nearby vantage points, Pyrmont Bridge or King Street Wharf as part of the festival’s world-famous Vivid Light Walk.

It will also be playing daily in the Bamal Gallery in the museum.

Studio Gilay

Studio Gilay, founded in 2021 by Jake Duczynski and James Hackett, is a Sydney based production company known for their unique design, close collaboration, and honest approach to storytelling, committed to originality, diversity and authentic representation, Studio Gilay brings together dynamic and passionate team, over a third of whom are of First Nations heritage. This includes talented writers, directors, and artists.

About Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney, the Southern Hemisphere’s leading multi-artform festival, transforms Sydney into a vibrant hub of creativity, innovation and community connection. Over 23 nights, light installations, music, ideas and food inspire global audiences and drive cultural exchange. The 2024 theme, ‘Humanity,’ sparks reflection and engagement, attracting visitors and fuelling economic growth. Proudly owned by Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney showcases NSW’s cultural vibrancy and positions it as a global leader in artistic innovation.


/Public Release.