VH-XZJ. Boeing 737-838. 'Mendoowoorrji'.
The Boeing 737-838 aircraft named 'Mendoowoorrji' is the fourth aircraft in Qantas' flying art series, inspired by the work of late West Australian Aboriginal painter, Paddy Bedford.
The artwork on this aircraft 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.
Paddy Bedford was born on Bedford Downs Station in West Australia and worked as a stockman for much of his life before taking up painting in his 70s. He was a founder of the Warmun art movement and was credited for inspiring a generation of Indigenous artists.
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.
Mendoowoorrji was painted at Boeing's headquarters in Seattle, USA and delivered into the Qantas fleet in November 2013. The design took over 950 man hours to complete over a five days period and used 500 litres and 125kg of paint.
The designers worked with 140 nylon stencils to re-created the more intricate design. The techniques used to achieve the paint strokes and detailed shading on the fuselage were a Boeing first.