The Bilya project is a multi-sensory journey of our connections to the Swan River.

Bilya project launches in multi-media extravaganza

The Bilya Project was launched at Governor Stirling Senior High School and Bassendean Primary School over two nights.
December 14, 2023
Peter W Lewis

A YEAR in the making, the Bilya Project was launched at Governor Stirling Senior High School and Bassendean Primary School over two amazing nights.

The project is a multi-sensory journey through light, sound, and imagery, exploring our profound connection to the Swan River, also known as Derbyl Yerrigan, for more than 60,000 years.

The collaborative project represents the culmination of a creative process engaging students from Bassendean Primary and Governor Stirling SHS, Noongar Elders, contemporary artists, environmental scientists, and the community.

The project took attendees on a journey that looks at our relationship with the Swan River, with new technologies being utilised to experience the arts in a sensory world that envelops you by being surrounded by light, sound and imagery to touch all senses.

Bassendean Primary School arts coordinator Kylie Barr said the school was thrilled to showcase the rich tapestry of the project, where Noongar cultural ecological knowledge, visual arts, digital storytelling, music, language, song, movement, and community conversations are woven together to narrate the stories of our local past and present, with a focus on the Swan River.

“The community was invited to see, hear and feel within their heart stories, old and new that students have collected from our local community that speak about our deep connection to the Derbyl Yerrigan.

"Songs were sung and imagery created of the beauty and fragility of the Swan River along this bidi,” she said.

“This collaborative project has been underway all year. It is a mammoth project, with many people, moving parts, problems, joys and surprises.

“The project was supported by funding from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and support from the Town of Bassendean to allow the engagement of a range of artists, not only providing employment for these incredible professionals, but also allowing hundreds of students the opportunity to work with and learn from these incredible creatives.”

Other contributors were school coordinators Olga Konstantouras and Michelle Hall, while the dance video was choreographed by Governor Stirling Maali staff member Troy Coleman and recorded and edited by Brook Desmond.

The music was composed by Koby Morrison and the lyrics were written by Year 10 students and Year 2 Bassendean PS students and performed by a cross merge of students.

The rest of the images projected were photographed, filmed and painted by artsmedia program and photography students, with interviews conducted by media students.

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