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  • art + soul
  • art + soul

art + soul

SKU: SG655

    art + soul is a groundbreaking three-part television series exploring the range and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture. Written and presented by Hetti Perkins, senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and directed by Warwick Thornton, award-winning director of Samson & Delilah (2009), the series offers a fascinating tour of the history and infinite variety of the work of Indigenous artists. At the same time, art + soul provides a cultural and political history of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have represented their country and their culture visually. Over three episodes we meet many artists from all over Australia who talk about their art-making practice.

    This series offers an opportunity to engage with some of Australia's leading Indigenous artists, following Perkins as she visits remote communities and inner city studios. art + soul moves from warm, personal and humorous encounters between Perkins and the artists to intelligent and engaging analyses of each artist's work. The artists featured in art + soul represent the diversity of the Indigenous nations of Australia; each was chosen for the strength and individuality they bring to their particular art-making practice. They embody the myriad art forms and shared concepts that bind Indigenous artists and their communities together.

    Each episode of art + soul is structured around one of three themes – 'home and away', 'dreams and nightmares' and 'bitter and sweet' – which provides a focus for engagement with the ideas explored. In addition, fifteen webisodes, or short films – five for each of the three episodes – have been produced. These webisodes, which explore a selection of the artists and their work in more detail, will be available on the art + soul website http://www.abc.net.au/arts/artandsoul.

    art + soul is an absolutely compelling series. Through 'home and away', 'dreams and nightmares' and 'bitter and sweet', Perkins traverses the country and the heart and soul of Indigenous art.


    Many of the artworks featured in art + soul are part of the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection and make up the exhibition art + soul in the Yiribana Gallery (August 2010 – June 2011). The AGNSW website offers information on the artists and their artworks and will screen the fifteen webisodes made in conjunction with art + soul. There are additional short films on this website, including interviews with artists from the series. For more information on art + soul the exhibition, see http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/art-soul.


    To accompany the documentary series Hetti Perkins, in association with The Miegunyah Press in Melbourne, has published a 300-page book also titled art + soul. This book, featuring essays, colour plates and artists' interviews and biographies, presents Perkins' journey through the documentary series and across Australia.

    Curriculum Links

    art + soul offers an enriching and enlightening introduction to the history of Indigenous culture and art practice in Australia and is relevant for upper primary, secondary and tertiary students who are studying Visual Arts, Australian History and Politics and/or Aboriginal Studies.

    An engagement with art + soul is relevant for teachers and students of

    • Visual Arts
    • Aboriginal Studies
    • Australian Studies
    • History
    • Politics
    • Geography

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