Paris rooftop display shows Indigenous artist Lena Nyadbi’s work to the world
Western Australian contemporary artist Lena Nyadbi was commissioned to design a piece specifically for the roof terrace of the Musée du quai Branly. She came up with a black-and-white painting called Dayiwul Lirlmim, or Barramundi Scales, inspired by her mother’s homeland in Dayiwul Country.
A large-scale reproduction of the work, made with the same kind of rubberised paint used for traffic signs, now fills the museum’s 700-square-metre rooftop terrace. The installation was designed to be visible from several different levels of the nearby Eiffel Tower, which draws in around seven million visitors every year. It will even be visible from space, thanks to satellite mapping technology.
This reminds me of John Mawurndjul’s work that is displayed in the gift shop at the same gallery.
The column that he painted is used structurally to prop up a wall… It’s pretty cool that Nyadbi’s work will be seen from space and looking down and getting that aerial perspective looks amazing but it does make me question why Indigenous art is being used as architectural decoration again. It seems to play on that idea of ‘traditional’ Aboriginal art as abstract and decorative.