Revealing the heritage, politics and imagination in contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art
pride + prejudice: Tuesday 8 July, 8.30pm
beauty + cruelty: Tuesday 15 July, 8.30pm
love + longing: Tuesday 22 July, 8.30pm
For more content see the ABC Arts art+soul webpage.
About the Series
A three-part documentary series, written and presented by Hetti Perkins. A diverse group of outstanding contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists reveal to Hetti Perkins how their art practice is driven by culture and heritage, political and personal preoccupations, dreams and imagination.
Writer/presenter HETTI PERKINS
Director STEVEN McGREGOR
Producers BRIDGET IKIN and JO-ANNE McGOWAN
Director of Photography ERIC MURRAY LUI
Sound recordist DAVID TRANTER
Editors LINDI HARRISON, ELLIOTT MAGEN
Sound Design LIAM EGAN
Composer GEORGE PAPANICOLAOU
SCREEN AUSTRALIA and HIBISCUS FILMS
in association with
THE ACT GOVERNMENT, ScreenACT, SCREEN TERRITORY and the NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA
Developed and produced in association with the
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
ABOUT THE EPISODES
Episode 1: pride and prejudice.
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.
Episode 2: beauty and cruelty.
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.
Episode 3: love and longing.
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.
ABOUT THE TEAM
“Through the imagination of our artists we can imagine a better future for our country.”
Hetti Perkins, writer / presenter
Hetti Perkins, writer/presenter
Hetti Perkins is a member of the Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon Aboriginal communities. She is resident curator at Bangarra Dance Theatre, creative director of the Corroboree Sydney festival, and curatorial advisor to the City of Sydney on the Eora Journey: Recognition in the Public Domain project.
She also wrote and presented the original three-part documentary series art + soul (ABC Television, 2010), directed by Warwick Thornton.
Hetti has worked in Indigenous visual art for 25 years, most recently at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in the role of senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. She has curated many renowned exhibitions for the AGNSW, and is constantly in demand for her curatorial expertise.
“I wanted more emotional content, to spend more time with each artist; not just meet them but get to know them.”
Steven McGregor, director
Steven McGregor, director
His most recent documentary credits include Croker Island Exodus about the epic journey of a group of stolen generation children during World War II and Big Name No Blanket, a portrait of the Warumpi Band’s charismatic front man George Rrurrambu.
Steven has also written four episodes of the ABC drama series Redfern Now: Pretty Boy Blue won the AACTA Award for best screenplay in television in 2013, and in the following year Babe in Arms was nominated in the same category.
Previous dramas and documentaries directed by Steven include:
Cold Turkey, My Brother Vinnie, Tales from Daly, Intervention: Two Years On, League of their Own, Five Seasons, Willgens Fitzroy.
National Gallery of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection
The National Gallery of Australia has the largest display of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art in the world. Over 700 works of art are showcased throughout eleven dedicated galleries. The second series of art + soul draws upon this remarkable National collection and celebrates the rich artistic traditions of Australia’s Indigenous peoples.
Artists and works featured in the series will be highlighted in the galleries with an art + soul caption.
For more information about the National Gallery of Australia ATSI collection