Aircraft model, stand and print, Boeing 747-400, 'Wunala Dreaming', Qantas Airways, plastic / metal / wood / paper, designed by John and Ros Moriarty of Balarinji Studio in Australia and made by Scalecraft Models in New Zealand, 1993-1994
This model was a prototype for the livery of the full-size Boeing 747-400 aircraft spectacularly painted for Qantas with the 'Wunala Dreaming' design of Balarinji Designs, Adelaide. The aircraft regularly and arrestingly emblazons local and international skies. It is an outstanding example of contemporary Australian graphic design for advertising.
Created as a public tribute to the distinctive art of Aboriginal Australians, the design celebrates Australia's natural beauty and cultural heritage. It was initially proposed by John and Ros Moriarty of Balarinji Designs to Qantas in 1993, to celebrate the Year of Indigenous Peoples. Although Qantas sent Balarinji the model on which to paint their design, Qantas did not accept the idea at first. However, the idea was resurrected to promote the launch of the airline's inaugural services into Kansai International Airport in 1994 and to appeal to international interest in Australia's Indigenous culture and heritage. Qantas Flight 113 flew into Kansai International Airport, built on a man-made island in Japan's Osaka Bay, on its opening day - 4 September 1994. The aircraft then travelled on to a world flight including a flypast at the renowned Farnborough Air Show in England.
Technically, Balarinji's 'Wunala Dreaming' design was digitised on computer before being magnified 100 times to generate two kilometres of tracing paper, which allowed the 67 patterns to be traced onto the B747-400. The design includes 1324 irregular dots and seven different colours. It took 12 days to paint and 800 litres of paint were used. The artwork blends a contemporary graphic style with traditional Aboriginal art motifs in distinctive landscape colours.
These colours refer to the outback ochres of Australia, the colour red of Uluru, the blue-purples of the Flinders Ranges and the green of Kakadu. The fuselage colour is based on the red used on Qantas aircraft tails and relates back to Qantas' outback origins in western Queensland in 1920. Qantas' official kangaroo logo was designed in 1947. John and Ros Moriarty, the principals of Balarinji Design studio, say the concept for the 'Wunala Dreaming' design embodies styles from Central and Northern Australia.
John Moriarty belongs to the Yanyuwa people from Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory. He notes that the design represents Dreamtime journeys in which spirit ancestors in the form of kangaroos (wunala) make tracks across the Australian landscape in ancient times from camps to waterholes, leading the people to water and food. Qantas commissioned a second painted aircraft from Balarinji studio. Called 'Nalanji Dreaming', it was launched in 1995.
Ian Debenham, Curator 1995
This model is a hand painted design mock-up by John and Ros Moriarty for the repainting of the full-size Qantas Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The 'Wunala Dreaming' design tells the story of journeys by spirit ancestors, in the form of kangaroos, across the Australian landscape in ancient times. The artwork, created by the Balarinji Design studio of Adelaide blends contemporary graphic style and traditional aboriginal motifs in distinctive colours based on the Australian landscape. The Balarinji team of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists has attained recognition in recent years through its distinctive graphic imagery and fashion designs. John and Ros Moriarty say the concept uses styles from Northern and Central Australia. Wunala Dreaming comes from the Yanyuwa people from Borroloola on the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Balarinji: ancient culture, contemporary design
Powerhouse Museum; ddd gallery Osaka; and ggg gallery, Tokyo
Celebrating Australia: identity by design (2001)