The opening of the new Ibis coincided with National Reconciliation Week and celebrates the hotel’s links with Indigenous community, culture, and art.
In partnership with Balarinji - an indigenous-owned creative agency best known for conceptualising Indigenous art on Qantas aircraft, Accor commissioned Sydney-based artist, educator and D'harawal Saltwater Knowledge Keeper, Shannon Foster, to create bespoke and exclusive artwork for the Iibis Sydney Olympic Park Hotel.
Titled Wanne Gurad (2016), the work (above) has been inspired by Shannon’s work teaching Aboriginal Studies and Environmental Education on Wangal Country in the Badu Mangroves of Sydney Olympic Park.
The artwork represents the spirit of the Rainbow Serpent as it weaves its way through the landscape to create the Parramatta River and its meandering estuaries.
The animals of the local area have been depicted using the traditional Sydney-based Aboriginal art technique of stencil printing in the same style as can be seen throughout the ancient sandstone shell middens across Sydney.
Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer Simon McGrath said: “Reconciliation and supporting indigenous Australia is part of the way we do business. Our goal is to create a more culturally connected organisation to enable authentic storytelling throughout our hotels leading to more engaging experiences for our guests.
“We are proud to work with long-standing partner Balarinji and artist Shannon Foster to unveil the first Indigenous-inspired ibis hotel in Australia. This project forms part of our wider commitment to reconciliation, creating more Indigenous employment opportunities and supporting local community and business groups.
“This project, and Shannon’s art and Balarinji’s design, not only reflect our rich history as a country, but highlight the opportunities we have to promote our indigenous culture to the Australian public and the many international visitors and guests that we have coming through our doors every day of the year.”
As part of the indigenous art project, ibis Sydney Olympic Park and AccorHotels has a commitment to increase the number of Indigenous employees working at hotels in the precinct.
The new hotel offers a choice of 144 guest rooms, two restaurants, two bars and conference facilities shared with the adjacent Novotel Sydney Olympic Park. For details visit accorhotels.com