Art of Australia
Presented by Edmund Capon
written by Edmund Capon
Runtime: 178 minutes
Number of disks: 1
DVD region: 4 - Australia, NZ, Latin America
1 DISC 178MINS PG
In this three part documentary series, former Director with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon, tells the epic story of Australian art from the Colonial period to the present day.
Edmund takes us on a journey through time and space on a quest to understand how art helped shape Australia. It interweaves the story of British, European and Indigenous art traditions and explores how they reflected the evolution of Australia’s culture over 200 years.
The first episode, ‘Strangers in a Strange Land’, tells the story of how Europeans first saw the new land and its people. Only after the 1880s did a home grown school of impressionist painters capture the essence of what really Australia looked and felt like. They did so just as the nation came into being, and their art helped forge the country’s identity.
Episode two, ‘Coming of Age’, covers the period between World War 1 and the 1960s - the era in which Australian art came of age and artists struggled to come up with a distinct brand of modern art. These modern artists had been inspired by Australian icons like Ned Kelly and also by travelling to the remote outback to encounter Aboriginal Australia.
In the final episode, ‘Beyond Australia’, Edmund tells the story of how Indigenous art, and modern abstract art combined to push Australian art forward. But while abstraction eventually wins the stoush, the old problem of being Australian and international at the same time still plagues Australian artists. That is until Papunya. In a remote indigenous community, a revolutionary art movement is born that attracts international acclaim and helps Australian art shed its baggage and take its place on the world stage.