The Fourth Qantas Dreamliner Celebrates Indigenous Art

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Feb 14, 2018


Warning: This webpage includes names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Count them – there are almost 5000 dots carefully painted onto this plane.

The newest Qantas Dreamliner features a stunning livery based on the painting Yam Dreaming by the late Northern Territory artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The Dreamliner has also been named after the acclaimed Anmatyerre woman, who was born in 1910 and produced more than 3000 works over her life.

With its mesmerising swirls and rich reds and ochres, the artwork represents the yam plant, a culturally important Dreaming symbol and food source in Kngwarreye’s homeland of Utopia, north-east of Alice Springs.

The work was adapted by Indigenous-owned design studio Balarinji and transformed to fit the contours of the aircraft. It took 60 graphic designers, engineers and painters 10 days to install the design onto its surface.

The colour of the tail has been matched to the artwork – only the second time in Qantas’s history that the flying kangaroo motif has been altered to fit a design.

“As the national carrier we’re thrilled to showcase another piece of Indigenous culture on one of our aircraft and to reiterate our ongoing commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

This is the fifth aircraft in the Qantas fleet to feature an Indigenous artwork.

The plane, currently receiving its finishing touches at the Boeing factory in Seattle, will fly to Alice Springs on 2 March.

It will then join the other Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners Great Southern Land, Waltzing Matilda and Quokka on new international routes.

 SEE ALSO: 5 Things that Surprised a Qantas Pilot About the New Dreamliner