Art and Soul Series 2

In this three part series, a diverse group of outstanding contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists reveal to pre-eminent curator Hetti Perkins how their art practice is driven by culture and heritage, political and personal preoccupations, dreams and imagination. Using the National Gallery of Australia’s extraordinary Indigenous collection as the springboard, we travel with Hetti through cities and desert communities, museums and artists’ private spaces, to experience the diversity and beauty of the art, and to learn of its genesis.


Pride in culture overcomes prejudice.
DANIEL BOYD paints Captain Cook as pirate, not explorer, and his large dot paintings ask big questions about past actions of the church. Yolngu man WANYUBI MARIKA’s art proudly tells ancient stories of law and land. The past is embedded in the light installations of JONATHAN JONES, proclaiming that Australia’s rich Aboriginal past can’t be extinguished, even within a metropolis as dominant as Sydney. ESME TIMBERY adapts the shell work traditions started by her great-grandmother, demonstrating cultural resilience.


Beauty prevails over cruelty.
Samson & Delilah writer/director WARWICK THORNTON, from Alice Springs, provokes and challenges with his conceptual art. Tasmanian artist JULIE GOUGH is intent on finding out truths about the past and conveying them by repurposing colonial objects and natural materials. The 2004 Palm Island riots – and those at Cronulla – inspired Brisbane artist VERNON AH KEE, as have family photographs taken during a genealogy expedition in the 1930s.


Love and longing is at the heart of identity.
Remote art centres such as TJALA ARTS maintain culture and community. Torres Strait Islander heritage is very present in the hugely diverse work of BRIAN ROBINSON, as are his other popular and global interests as well. Tasmanian LOLA GREENO is innovating within a long tradition of shell work while her husband REX GREENO has resuscitated the lost art of making elegant bark canoes. CHRISTIAN THOMPSON’s own body is the basis of his eclectic art, however he feels the pull of his Queensland homeland strongly. The human form also dominates the work of NICOLE FORESHEW, who infuses her work with elements of the land – bark, ochre and leaves.
Ultimately, art + soul conveys the pain and pride of being part of the world’s oldest continuous living culture, while simultaneously also being part of modern Australia.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Production Year: 
3 x 55 mins
Series Episode
Standard $275
Schools $198

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