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THE BLACK EYED PEAS KICK OFF AUSSIE TOUR WITH TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS WELCOME
Tuesday 29 September 2009: Internationally acclaimed quartet, will.i.am, Fergie, Taboo and apl.de.ap, collectively known as The Black Eyed Peas, arrived discreetly into Sydney airport last night where they attended a private ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony performed by noted Indigenous elder Aunty Sylvia Scott.
The traditional Aboriginal ceremony, which took place after hours in the Virgin Blue Lounge and also welcomed the ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ collaborative art project, has been an Indigenous protocol for thousands of years. It marked the official launch of The Black Eyed Peas Australian tour and was in stark contrast to the frenzied fanfare that usually greets the band where ever they go in the world.
The three-time Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum recording group are touring Australia on the back of their fifth studio album, “The E.N.D.” Virgin Blue is official airline for Australian leg of The Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. World Tour.
The significance of the ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony for The Black Eyed Peas was two-fold. First and foremost as a mark of respect for Indigenous Australians but also to show their support for the reconciliation movement; a topic which is the inspiration behind the ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ project. - which is proudly supported by The Black Eyed Peas, Virgin Blue and V Australia.
Coinciding with The Black Eyed Peas tour, the ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ preview exhibition, proudly presented by V Australia, opens in Melbourne on 8 October.
‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ features sweeping, multimedia art conceived by acclaimed fashion photographer, Russell James, and inspired and co-created by Indigenous Australian artists, highlighting the work of Clifton Bieundurry.
Its art, music and three short films explore the clash of ancient civilizations with the modern world in three phases: Innocence, Inhibition and Discovery. The project involved years of groundwork, including travel to remote regions of North Western Australia and escort by senior Indigenous custodians of the land into sites of great cultural significance to the aboriginal people. James’ photographs, featuring these “landscape” pictures as well as “character” pictures that feature Heidi Klum, Estella Warren, Rachel Roberts, The Black Eyed Peas and more, are overlayed with traditional Aboriginal ‘story’.
NOMAD Two Worlds has been called a stunning example of reconciliation and true cultural collaboration in action.
Will.i.am, the front man of The Black Eyed Peas, has also collaborated on `NOMAD Two Worlds' by helping NOMAD produce a music film for the project entitled “Apology (It’s Time)” featuring Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology speech and celebrities such as Hugh Jackman.
“We have massive respect for Indigenous music and art and through our involvement with the Nomad project we have learned a lot about Australian Indigenous art and culture and that’s why we wanted to pay our respect,” said will.i.am.
Virgin Blue Group General Manager Public Affairs, Heather Jeffery, said, “We’re really proud to be associated with both the Black Eyed Peas Tours and NOMADS Two Worlds and we were honoured to have Aunty Sylvia Scott extend a traditional ‘Welcome to Country’ within our terminal.
“Over the next few weeks while the group is touring and NOMAD welcomes many visitors, many Australians will have the opportunity to experience not only great music and amazing contemporary art but also the important underlying message of respect for indigenous Australians.”
Further details on ‘NOMAD Two Worlds’ Exhibition can be found on http://NomadTwoWorlds.com.
Further information on the Black Eyed Peas can be found on www.blackeyedpeas.com.
The Black Eyed Peas made history with the longest successive stay at the top of the USA Billboard Hot 100 chart with 25 consecutive weeks at number 1. “I Gotta Feeling” has held the top spot for the past thirteen weeks after replacing their first single “Boom Boom Pow” which then spent 12 weeks at number 1. This is the longest consecutive stay for any artist in the Billboard chart’s 51-year history.
* Images courtesy NOMAD TWO WORLDS collection