First Lights

Date and Time

  • 2021 - 2023

Date and Time

  • 2021 - 2023

First Lights is a place-responsive, choreographed drone light, sound and cultural story-telling experience. 

An epic spectacle of light, movement and sound, First Lights premiered with Moombaki at the 2021 Fremantle Biennale in a celebration of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River). A fleet of 160 drones took flight over the stage of the bilya (river) and wardan (ocean) to reveal the first stories of Whadjuk Nyoongar Country, with artworks created by Ilona McGuire and narrative guided by Whadjuk Nyoongar Traditional Owners.

A legacy project and unique sky show, the First Lights project has since travel across Western Australia and Australia (2022 – on-going). Led by Traditional Owners and artists from each region, First Lights pioneers new technologies and artistic practices to share ancient knowledge and the living stories of place.

First Lights has been presented in Darwin (NT), Albany, Esperance, Ningaloo and Exmouth, Cowaramup, and Bowral (NSW).

Visit the First Lights website and view the Impact Report.

Featured: Kirli Saunders, First Lights – Buungbaa-ma-ndhu, Midwinter Festival 2023. Photo: Brian Rapsey. Courtesy: Ngununggula.
1. Kim Scott, First Lights – Binalup, 2023, Albany. Photo: Jarrad Russell.
2 – 4: Ilona McGuire, First Lights – Moombaki, 2021, Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), Dyoondalup (Attadale), Derbarl Nara (Coogee Beach). Photos: Duncan Wright.


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