Until 15 January 2017
Open daily 10:30am – 4:30pm
Free (bookings recommended)

ACMI + Melbourne Festival present

Collisions: Lynette Wallworth

Work Duration: 18 minutes

Limited to 2 tickets per booking. Booking is optional but guarantees your place. Please arrive 10 minutes before the booked time or your spot may be given away.

Lynette Wallworth’s Collisions is a stunning VR experience that invites audiences on a journey to the land of Indigenous elder, Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and the Martu tribe in the remote Western Australian desert. In a thought-provoking, immersive experience, Nyarri shares his story of the dramatic collision between his traditional world view and his experience of nuclear testing in the South Australian desert.

Collisions was developed as a result of the inaugural Sundance New Frontier-Jaunt VR Residency.

Collisions is a powerful parable for our country. Nyarri Morgan's important story has been hidden till now so I am grateful that it will be showcased for three months at ACMI allowing many to contemplate its message.”

Lynette Wallworth

Lynette Wallworth, Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and Curtis Taylor In Conversation


"Ngaa-nga jarkulparna kartinpa yulubidyi, Jarmukurnu Yaparlyikurnu mirda kujtu ngaryukuju parlparryikujanumpa, yuwa palya.

This story I carry is until the end, from our Grandfathers and Grandmothers; not just my story alone, for everyone, thank you."

Nyarri Nyarri Morgan

Collisions tells the story of Aboriginal elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan. A Martu man from the remote Pilbara desert in Western Australia, he lived his early life with no knowledge or contact with western culture. His world is all he knew.

Nyarri’s first contact with Western culture came in the 1950s via a dramatic collision between his traditional world view and the cutting edge of Western science and technology. Reflecting on the event, in this most magical of immersive experiences, Nyarri offers viewers his experience of the impact of destructive technology and the Martu perspective on caring for the planet for future generations.

Nyarri is an elder who has seen his community through dramatic changes, a speaker of seven western desert languages, an artist whose work has been exhibited across the world and a man whose incredible story is now being shared in VR.

"Nyarri has waited a very long time to tell his extraordinary story."

Lynette Wallworth
Photo credit: Tobias Titz


"We've used the newest technology to talk about something that is ancient in this country"

Lynette Wallworth

"I first heard of Nyarri’s story four years ago on a hunting trip with the Martu women painters in the Western Desert. Hearing that I had been to Maralinga, where Britain tested atomic bombs in the 1950s, Nyarri’s wife Nola turned to me at the campfire with what felt like an instruction…"You have to talk to Nyarri."

A year later I did just that and I heard a short powerful parable that Nyarri had waited almost his entire life to share. So this work was born, as a thought or an imagining. I hadn’t yet experienced Virtual Reality and I was waiting to decide the form that would best suit this work. When I experienced my first VR film I knew how to make Nyarri’s story exist again.

I love new technology. I love the moment when the viewer experiences a new sensation for the first time. I know that moment gets seared into memory. I also believe in the power of story to reshape us collectively. I think the two belong together.

Nyarri’s world is only available to me through being invited, through this work that invitation is extended to you. The powerful sense of presence of VR makes everything personal. Nyarri knows who it is he is speaking to. He is speaking to you.

So this work is something of a gift sent from a private world. It contains an old story, held close till now. It is a technological message in a bottle sent out to a world that could enact a different future. It's a work that tries to do the hardest of things- to create a bridge for two cultures in our shared homeland acknowledging our onward stewardship of this wonderful, wounded, resilient country."

Lynette Wallworth

Collisions, filmed on location in the remote Western Australian Desert, is a breakthrough production in immersive virtual reality cinema. Under Lynette Wallworth’s direction, Jaunt VR’s state of the art 3-D 360 camera was attached to a drone, enabling breathtaking footage of the Pilbarra desert, Nyarri’s community and the traditional mosaic pattern burning of the Martu people from the air. Nyarri and the Martu took instantly to the virtual reality format, Nyarri noting “the camera has 16 eyes.”

Spectacular sound, recorded by Australian sound recordist Liam Egan on aquadrophonic microphone, was translated into an immersive sound design by Skywalker Sound’s legendary designer Tom Myers. It was mixed at Skywalker Ranch in the first-ever Dolby Atmos mix there. Dolby coders were in the room as Myers and Wallworth worked, improving the code for Collisions so it could be finished in time for world premieres at Davos and Sundance.

The presentation of Collisions was also filled with firsts, due to the vision and perseverance of Wallworth and producer Nicole Newnham. Working to enable Wallworth’s vision of gifting, through virtual reality, a “collective dream” to audiences at Davos and Sundance, the two worked with the LA-based studio "Two Bit Circus" who had developed a synching technologyfor the Samsung GearVR. Their tech allows all the phones to play in true synch, so that everyone enters and exits the immersive experience at the same time, enabling a shared experience.

Wallworth and Newnham achieved the world’s first synchronized screening at a scale of 75 headsets at the World Economic Forum in Davos for world leaders (in addition to a fixed installation of 15 synchronized headsets in the congress hall) and followed that with the first theatrical screening of a VR work in the Egyptian theater at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and in February of last year, Collisions was the first ever screening of a VR work at the Museum of Modern Art.

Wallworth is thrilled that this deeply moving screening experience has been integrated, in partnership with Melbourne’s “Visual Playground,” into ACMI’s beautifully executed exhibit of Collisions in Melbourne, bringing the collective dream of Collisions to Australian audiences.

“This extraordinary work takes us into the world of the Martu people, connecting us with Nyarri’s story, and enabling us insight into his experience and that of his community and allowing us to ask urgent questions.” Katrina Sedgwick, ACMI Director & CEO

About Lynette Wallworth

Lynette Wallworth is an acclaimed Australian artist and director whose immersive installations and films reflect connections between people and the natural world, while also exploring fragile human states of grace. Her works use mesmeric environments, interactive technologies and narrative long-form to engage with viewers. Often engaged with emerging technologies, Wallworth has frequently exhibited her work at Sundance Film Festival, New Frontiers. There she has shown her interactive installation Evolution of Fearlessness, a moving portrait of 11 women who lived beyond the state of fear and the full dome feature Coral: Rekindling Venus, which has an accompanying augmented reality poster collection.

Wallworth’s first documentary film Tender won the AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards) for best televised documentary and was nominated for a Grierson Award in the UK. Wallworth’s work has shown at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the American Museum of Natural History, New York, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Smithsonian, Royal Observatory Greenwich for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad; Auckland Triennial; Adelaide Biennial; Brighton Festival and the Vienna Festival among many others as well as various film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, London Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival.

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All imagery and video courtesy of the artist