Justin O'Brien: The Sacred Music of Colour traces Justin O'Brien's artwork from his earliest days in Australia in the 1940s where he was learning his craft to his final years in the latter part of the twentieth century. Works that influenced his own style are referenced in this film; O'Brien, colleagues, curators and friends describe his approach to painting and the artworks that he so admired.
As we learn about places and artists that influenced his creativity, we are also introduced to many of his paintings. Several of his works are shown through film footage of a 2010-2011 retrospective of Justin O'Brien's work at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
We learn about how O'Brien referenced religious imagery in his art. The art of Christianity, especially that of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was a major inspiration for Justin O'Brien. We also see footage of him in Rome where he lived for many years amongst the great Italian Quattrocento artworks that so influenced his own paintings.
Several people recount their memories of Justin O'Brien in the documentary, including Barry Pearce, Emeritus Curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales who co-created the 2010-2011 exhibition of his art.
Running time: 30 mins
ATOM has also produced a study guide for Justin O'Brien: The Sacred Music of Colour. This study guide is available for download here.
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