Art and Soul: The World of Aboriginal Art

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Arts Documentary hosted by Hetti Perkins, published by SBS in 2010 - English narration

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Image: Art-and-Soul-The-World-of-Aboriginal-Art-Cover.jpg

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Art and Soul The World of Aboriginal Art Hetti Perkins presents art + soul, a powerful and emotionally engaging television series about contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, and the artists who create it. An Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon desert woman, Hetti is senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, daughter of political activist Charles Perkins and sister of filmmaker Rachel Perkins (First Australians, Bran Nue Dae). With great generosity, she shares her extraordinary knowledge of Aboriginal art, visiting the homes and studios of artists in remote desert communities, the tropical top end, and in urban environments. She also brings personal anecdotes to the fore, recalling her family’s own story, and her father’s legacy: "Art for me is a way for our people to share stories and allow a wider community to understand our history and us as a people." Past and present, tradition and modernity, the imagination and individual experiences of artists, converge. Art + Soul views Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art through a political prism, which allows for a richer appreciation of the artworks? And thereby of Aboriginal Australia and the life forces that underpin it. The series celebrates the survival and resilience of a whole culture.

[edit] Home and Away

What does it mean to be 'at home' for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? Is it where you live, or the 'country' you are exiled from? In episode one, we start with Alice Springs and what a fantastic place to start! Smack bang in the middle of Australia. From there, we go out to the Gibson Desert, and then to an artist’s studio in Brisbane, then western Arnhem land in the NT, to Ricky Maynard and Destiny Deakin in Melbourne. Crusoe Kurddal was born in 1961 and is part of the Maningrida community in western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Kurddal is renowned for his mimih sculptures, which are created in the tradition of his father, Crusoe Kuningbal. Kurddal’s work has been featured in national and international exhibitions including the 26th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, 2009; Melbourne Art Fair, William Mora Galleries, 2008; Rarrk London, Bargehouse Gallery, London, 2007; and the 2000 Biennale of Sydney. Kurddal debuted as the lead actor in Rolf de Heer's 2006 feature film Ten Canoes and has since appeared in Baz Luhrmann's 2008 film Australia.

[edit] Dreams and Nightmares

From the 'dreaming' to the unsettling nightmare of colonisation, what is the role of memory, dreams and the spirit world in Aboriginal art? HJ Wedge was born in 1957 on the Erambie Mission in Cowra, Wiradjuri country in New South Wales, where he lives today. Wedge's work is distinctive in its bold use of colour and contemporary subject matter, which often deals with social and political issues relevant to Aboriginal people living in an urban context. He studied at Eora College TAFE in Redfern, Sydney, and first showed his work with fellow Aboriginal artist Ian Abdulla at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Sydney in 1991. In 1993, Wedge was artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, and following the residency his works were represented in an exhibition. His paintings were also among those selected for the 1993 Australian Perspecta, a biennial survey of contemporary Australian art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; Urban focus, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1994; and the National Gallery of Australia's inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture warriors, 2007.

[edit] Bitter and Sweet

How does the startling beauty - and humour - of Aboriginal art intertwine with reverberations of the past and our present? Gawirrin Gumana is the last surviving artist of the group of senior Yolngu men who painted the historic Yirrkala church panels, 1962-63. This eminent artist today resides at his clan lands of Gangan, which he refounded with his father Birrikitji during the outstation movement of the early 1970s. Gumana is now the ceremonial leader of the highest rank in the Yirritja moiety, and was ordained a minister of the Uniting Church in 1992. He was the winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2002, which recognised his talent and seniority as an artist. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003, and was an invitee to the Clemenger Contemporary Art Prize in 2003. In 2008 the High Court recognised Indigenous sea rights for the first time in the landmark case Gawirrin Gumana vs Northern Territory Government. This was the culmination of a ten-year struggle which Gumana first contributed to through the Saltwater - Yirrkala bark paintings of sea country touring exhibition and book, 1999-2001. In 2009 Gumana was awarded the Red Ochre Award for lifetime services to Indigenous art and culture.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L3.1
  • Video Bitrate: 2 027 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.778 (16:9)
  • Video Resolution: 960 x 540
  • Audio Codec: AAC LC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps AC3 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 55mins
  • Frame rate: 25fps
  • Number of Parts: 4
  • Part Size: 798 MiB
  • Container: mkv
  • Encoded by: Harry65
  • Source: DVD

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