MENDOOWOORRJI ART AIRCRAFT
The Bedford-Balarinji Mendoowoorrji B737-800 is the fourth aircraft in the Qantas-Balarinji flying art series, a collaborative relationship between Qantas and Balarinji that has spanned more than two decades. Balarinji created the fuselage design based on renowned WA artist Paddy Bedford’s 2005 painting, ‘Medicine Pocket’. Delivering the project from concept through to production, Balarinji worked closely with Boeing, and Boeing’s design agency, Teague, in Seattle USA, and with Qantas Engineering. The innovative techniques used to achieve textured paint strokes and detailed shading on the fuselage were a Boeing first.
The project required Balarinji to manage a complex set of relationships including Bedford’s estate, his Gija family in Warmun, WA, the Yawuru people of Broome, and The National Gallery of Australia.
Mendoowoorrji was painted at Boeing's headquarters in Seattle and delivered to the Qantas fleet in November 2013. The design took over 950 person-hours to complete over a five day period. It used 500 litres (125 kilograms) of paint.
Balarinji and Boeing designers and painters worked with 140 nylon stencils to recreate the intricate designs. The livery used novel techniques to achieve the paint strokes and detailed shading on the fuselage so the reproduction would capture the integrity of the original artwork.