The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
2001/84/84 Performance costume 'Awakening Spirit - Female', fabric, designed by Jennifer Irwin, manufacture coordinated by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop and Think Positive, used in Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 2000. Click to enlarge.

Performance costume ‘Awakening Spirit - Female’, fabric, designed by Jennifer Irwin, manufacture coordinated by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop and Think Positive, used in Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 2000

Made
The 'Awakening Spirit - Female' costume was designed by Jennifer Irwin and manufactured in the Ceremonies Costume Workshop. It features a cream jersey dress with black printing. Numerous examples of the costume featured in the Awakenings segment of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. They were worn by a member of NSW urban indigenous school and community groups.

Opening Ceremony Context

The Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games comprised three major sections: mandatory formalities and protocol sections, the cultural display and the entrance of the athletes.

Within the cultural display there were eight sections: Welcome, Deep Sea Dreaming, Awakening, Fire, Nature, Tin Symphony, Arrivals and Eternity. The Awakenings segment followed the Deep Sea Dreaming segment and pays homage to the indigenous peoples of Australia. The segment was directed by Stephen Page and Rhoda Roberts and features dancers from various indigenous groups throughout Australia, including dancers from the Eora nation.

The Opening Ceremony Program states: Djakapurra Munyarryun, the songman, calls the new generation of spirits. The white ochre spirits are drawn to the heartbeat of the land by the Central Desert women. Their 'Chant of the Seven Sisters Dance' births the s\ceremony. As ochre fills the air, dancers from Arnhem land perform the 'Flag Welcome Song', which welcomed the Macassan traders at least four centuries ago. Torres Strait islanders arrive: the Eora nation group welcomes and plays host. All gather around drums of burning eucalyptus leaves, rekindling and cleansing this stadium on Daruk land. The Gjorn Gjorn, huge spirits from the Kimberly Ranges, hover. As the clans unite, they birth the giant Wandjina - ancestral creation spirit and lawmaker.

The Awakenings segment was a collaboration involving the culture, music, dance and traditional costumes of indigenous peoples throughout Australia. The design of the costumes embraced both traditional dress and modern dance costume.

Summary

Object No.

2001/84/84

Object Statement

Performance costume 'Awakening Spirit - Female', fabric, designed by Jennifer Irwin, manufacture coordinated by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop and Think Positive, used in Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 2000

Physical Description

Performance costume 'Awakening Spirit - Female', fabric, designed by Jennifer Irwin, consists of a stretch lycra and stretch crepe dress, size 12. The dress is made up of a sleeveless leotard with an attached skirt. The legs of the leotard finish at the top of the thigh. The skirt of the dress is sewn to the waist of a leotard. The skirt is slightly flared and is spilt at the front from the waist to the base of the skirt. The skirt and leotard are white and have been printed with black fabric dye down the back of the skirt and down the left hand side of the leotard. The rest of the dress has a black speckled pattern across it. The edges of the skirt have not been hemmed.

Marks

Manufacturer label in the neck of the dress "Polyester / Cotton /12 / Made in / Australia". There are also care instructions on the label.

Production

Designed

Artist

Notes

Jennifer Irwin (born Sydney 1958) has designed costumes for numerous Australian dance and theatre productions. Her designs for dance have been seen on stage in 24 countries. She has designed costumes for over 25 works by the Sydney Dance Company and has worked extensively with director and choreographer Stephen Page on his productions for the Bangarra Dance Theatre and for the Australian Ballet. Also with Stephen Page, Irwin designed costumes for the Opening Ceremony for the Festival of the Dreaming (1998) and for Tubowgule - the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival. Irwin also designed the costumes for the Official Ceremony for the Centenary of Federation on 1 January 2001.

Jennifer Irwin's many costume design commissions for dramatic works include collaborations with directors Gale Edwards and Marion Potts for the Sydney Theatre Company and with Neil Armfield for Company B at the Belvoir St Theatre.

Irwin was awarded a Theatre Board (Australia Council) grant to study scenic design at La Scala Opera in Milan, Italy.

Her designs for the Awakenings section of the Opening Ceremony demonstrate her unique talent and ability to infuse contemporary, cutting edge design with sensitivity and an understanding of dance, movement and cultural significance.

These designs reveal an innovative use of texture and silhouette, and an ability to create an abstract contemporary tribal look that does not contradict indigenous Australian values or beliefs.

The textile print for this costume was designed by Irwin.

History

Notes

This and identical copies of this design were worn by members of NSW urban indigenous school and community groups.

Presented to the Powerhouse Museum by the Olympic Coordination Authority, on behalf of the NSW Government

Source

Credit Line

Part of the Sydney 2000 Games Collection. Gift of the New South Wales Government, 2001

Acquisition Date

5 October 2001

Cite this Object

Harvard

Performance costume 'Awakening Spirit - Female', fabric, designed by Jennifer Irwin, manufacture coordinated by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop and Think Positive, used in Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 2000 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2020, <https://ma.as/504011>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/504011 |title=Performance costume 'Awakening Spirit - Female', fabric, designed by Jennifer Irwin, manufacture coordinated by the Ceremonies Costume Workshop and Think Positive, used in Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 2000 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}