The latest aircraft in Qantas’s Indigenous Flying Art series has arrived in Sydney. The 737-800’s livery, inspired by the work of late West Australian Aboriginal painter Paddy Bedford and named Mendoowoorrji, is the fourth aircraft in Qantas’ flying art series, all of which have been in partnership with Australian designers Balarinji.
The artwork on the 737 is an interpretation of the 2005 painting Medicine Pocket, which captures the essence of Mendoowoorrji, Paddy Bedford’s mother’s country in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. The aircraft itself has been named Mendoowoorrji in honour of this.
For this project, Qantas and Balarinji collaborated with the Bedford Trust and the National Gallery of Australia to ensure design of the fuselage stayed true to the original painting.
For the first time in the airline’s 93 year history, the iconic Qantas tail has been incorporated in the design, with the airline’s trademark red tail colour behind the white kangaroo altered to match the earthy tones of Bedford’s art work.
Mendoowoorrji will fly to Broome and Canberra for promotional visits in coming weeks after it enters service across the Qantas domestic network. It will also operate east-west and intra-WA flights as part of its regular scheduled services.
This is the 69th 737-800 in the Qantas Group fleet, with six additional aircraft to join between now and the end of 2014.
Read the feature story on Mendoowoorrji in the coming December edition of Australian Aviation.