These works evolved over 6 months through a collaboration between myself, Sarah Kenderdine (EPFL EMPLUS/EPICentre DomeLab), Cedric Maridet, Paul Bourke and National Museum of Australia staff (Margo Neale, Christiane Keller), in close consultation with the relevant communities (including Stanley Douglas, one of the Traditional Owners).
Sarah initiated and directed the overall Travelling Kungkarangkalpa dome project with the NMA for the exhibition and commissioned me to create these two movies during 2016/17, having seen my earlier fulldome work exploring Indigenous Australian astronomy and landscape, Jangurna (2013). French composer Cedric Maridet was engaged to create the ambient soundtrack for the piece.
Walinynga (Cave Hill) recreates an experience of place. I undertook a 5 day shoot in this remarkable landscape in September/October 2016, camping out under the stars away from any night-time light sources - where the skies were perfectly clear and vivid for fulldome astrophotography. The days were hot and bright and dry. The purpose of this journey was to observe, document and somehow respond to the environment, seeking something of its character - a remote and forbidding desert landscape, in the ancient heart of Australia. Most importantly, it is a land still occupied by its traditional owners over thousands of years - littered with artefacts, a named and situated landscape woven with the cosmogony of songlines - including that of the Seven Sisters Tjukurpa. Walinynga is the only extant site in Australia that features rock art that relates to this particular story (for details of this see the companion movie Travelling Kungkarangkalpa: Art Experience).
My observational and creative work involved shooting astrophotographic time-lapse sequences, sunsets and sunrises and immersive imagery of the desert environment (ably assisted by my colleague Chris Henderson), along with capturing ambisonic environmental sound recordings - the breath of the place. Paul Bourke undertook extensive aerial drone and photogrammetric photography of the cave itself, enabling us to create a 3D model of the cave suitable for 3D animation for fulldome visualisation, using virtual cameras within the cave reconstruction. This enabled me to virtually re-shoot sequences within the cave in order to focus on key artworks indicated by the NMA archaeologists.
Following a couple of meetings in Canberra, Sarah, Christiane and I worked on the storyboard together, based upon these source materials, and the movie went through various iterations previewed on the EPICentre DomeLab 4k dome in Sydney with Sarah, NMA staff and the Traditional Owners, during early to mid- 2017. Working remotely with Sarah (mainly via email or video conferencing from her base in Switzerland) all visualisation, animation, post and edit was undertaken at my studios in Hobart, Tasmania, where I drew all the pieces together for the final work you see here: a complex iterative process involving a great deal of experimentation in creating the shots, layering animation and effects, compositing, colour-grading and deciding upon look-and-feel, pacing and tempo. In concert with Cedric's evocative soundscape, the result is a piece that draws together the sense of ancient landscape, the mysterious artworks within the cave, the wonderful Anangu nomenclature spoken by Stanley, and the cosmological connections with the night sky - imparting some of the sense of deep time that effuses the place.
Credits: Produced by Sarah Kenderdine and Peter Morse for the National Museum of Australia Directed by Peter Morse and Sarah Kenderdine Director of Photography & Fulldome Visualisation: Peter Morse Audio Design: Cedric Maridet Narrative Elements: Stanley Douglas Fulldome Time-lapse Photography: Peter Morse Time-Lapse Motion Control & Technical Support: Chris Henderson & Peter Morse Panoramic HDR Photography: Peter Morse & Paul Bourke Photogrammetry & 3D Scene Reconstruction: Paul Bourke & Peter Morse Fisheye and Drone Photography: Paul Bourke 3D Animation and Special Effects: Peter Morse Fulldome Post Production, Edit & Compositing, Rendering & Slicing: Peter Morse Ambisonic Field Audio Recording: Peter Morse Community Liaison: Lee Brady, Diana James Story Consultants: Margo Neale, Christiane Keller (National Museum of Australia)
Created for DomeLab - a research infrastructure project led by Professor Sarah Kenderdine supported by the Australian Research Council in collaboration with 11 organisations including the National Museum of Australia
Premiere: Tracking the Seven Sisters, National Museum of Australia, 14 September 2017 - 25 February 2018
Special thanks to: Tomasz Bednarz, Rob Lawther & Kathy Yeh (EPICentre, UNSW).
Funding: Travelling Kungkarangkalpa: Walinynga (Cave Hill) was funded jointly by National Museum of Australia and DomeLab via the Australian Research Council. Additional field support by Peter Morse. Additional compute support by EPICentre UNSW, Peter Morse and the University of Tasmania..