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Colour Theory Underground (ATOM Study Guide)

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Colour Theory Underground is the fourth set of profiles of artists in a series showcasing the art of Indigenous Australians. This series explores the art of graffiti and street art, a culture characterised by originality and experimentation, and intended for a broad audience. It doesn't conform to the regular criteria of contemporary art, not to the conventions of exhibition within the walls of a gallery.

Shot on location around Australia, the series heads to the streets and into landscapes where art is a highly visible form of storytelling. The featured artists create eye-catching pieces that exploit the principles of advertising but usually with an anti-capitalist stance. There are many forms of street art: ideological, colourful, peaceful and political. From discrete works to large-scale murals, they make pertinent comment on social issues that impact on Indigenous people and broader society today, often with splashes of humour and wit.

Tony Albert, artist and series presenter, opens the door to artists who are secretive by nature, often hiding their identity and codifying their work, due to the misunderstanding that graffiti or stencil works are acts of vandalism.

Curriculum guidelines
Colour Theory Underground would be enjoyed by middle to senior secondary students, as well as tertiary students. The program would be relevant to studies of Visual Arts, Design, Australian History, Political Studies, Aboriginal Studies and Cultural Studies.

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