The story of 'Wunala' started thousands of years ago with ancient Dreamtime journeys of Australia's Aboriginal people and continues with the most advanced technology available for your own travels.
To celebrate our spectacular country, so rich with its diverse cultural heritage and natural beauty, in 1994 Qantas commissioned a painting from an internationally renowned design form, Balarinji Designs, in Adelaide, South Australia.
A team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists developed distinctive imagery using a contemporary graphic style featuring motifs from Northern and Central Australia to create one of the world's largest pieces of modern art - a unique Boeing 747-400.
The natural colours of the country have inspired the artist's palette, from, the bright reds of Uluru (Ayers Rock) at sunset to the blue-lavenders that define the Flinders Ranges lining the Center's desert horizon. And if you've ventured into the wetlands of Kakadu, you'll recognise the lush apple-green.
The Dreamtime Legend
The Aboriginal people of Australia boast the world's oldest continuous culture dating back some 40,000 years. It is passed on though Dreamtime legends. John and Ross Moriarty, principals of Balarinji Design, explain the 'Wunala Dreaming' of the Yanyuwa people from the Gulf of Carpenteria:
"In Dreamtime journeys, spirit ancestors in the form of kangaroos (Wunala) make tracks from camps to waterholes, leading the people to water and food. Today, as they have for centuries, Aboriginal people re-enact such journeys through song and dance 'corroborees'. These ensure the procreation of all living things in the continuing harmony of natures seasons."
As is the case with much modern art, the painting of this plane is a bold blending of old and new. Wunala Dreaming was digitalised on computer and magnified 100 times to generate 2 kilometres of blotting paper. This allowed the 67 patterns - including 1324 irregular dots - to be traced onto this Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
Qantas celebrates one of the world's oldest cultures and the latest in aviation technology with 'Yananyi Dreaming', a painted Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
The fuselage layout was designed by Balarinji using individual motifs painted by Rene Kulitja whose vibrant colours are inspired by the dramatic landscape surrounding Uluru.
Uluru has dominated the Australian Western Desert landscape for millions of years. The Anangu people have lived in the region for more than 40,000 years, maintaining their special sites and unique culture. Through song, dance and art, they tell their Tjukurpa - Anangu stories of land and journeys that hold their knowledge and their Law. Dances from the Tjukurpa teaching Anangu way of life and history of their land are passed on from generation to generation, keeping culture strong.
'Yananyi' means going or travelling. In 'Yananyi Dreaming' radiating pathways lead to the symbol of Uluru, depicted both as a physical form surrounded by Kurkara (desert oak trees), and as an abstract representation of concentric circles. Blue hills (Tali) rise from the desert landscape, and mala (Rufous Hair - Wallaby) tracks are imprinted on the sand. Lungkata (Blue tongued Lizard) basks in the hot sun in this fragile and ancient place. 'Yananyi Dreaming' is the strong Uluru story.
Rene Kulitja describes her artistic works for 'Yananyi Dreaming.' "This is my traditional place. I am a Pitjantjatjara woman. My pictures tell about the landscape, the animals and the plants of Uluru. We go hunting in the desert for tjala (honey ant) and lungkata (Blue-tongued Lizard). I am a traditional owner at Uluru. My husband, my kids and I - we love this country."
'Yananyi Dreaming' was welcomed to Australia with a special Inma ceremony performed by singers and dancers from Rene's Mutitjulu community in Uluru.
'Yananyi Dreaming' is the third Qantas aircraft to be painted with an Aboriginal design and is to be used in the Australian domestic market.
- Painted at Boeing's Seattle headquarters.
- 484.5 litres of paint was used.
- 2,000 man hours over six days to complete.
- 200 large plastic stencils, 7mm thick measuring 1.27m x 3m defined the overall design.
- 63 pieces of nylon stencil ranging in size from 0.5m x 1.5m to 1.25m x 5.6m created the more intricate designs.