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Quilty - Painting the Shadows

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SKU: DVD-1152
size: 13.50cm W × 19.10cm H × 1.40cm D
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'Ben paints with purpose and reminds us that art has a role to play in our lives and in thinking through who we are.'
– Lisa Slade / Assistant Director, Art Gallery of South Australia

A fascinating exploration of the creative process, Quilty - Painting the Shadows, follows Ben Quilty as he completes one of his most challenging art works – a painting about the Myall Creek massacre of 1838 where 12 stockmen brutally slaughtered 28 Aboriginal people who were camped peacefully at Myall Creek Station in northern NSW.

This massacre had special significance as it marked the only time in the colonial period that white men were arrested, charged and ultimately hung for the massacre. The film follows Quilty’s exploration of the subject over many months.

An artist with a profound commitment to social activism fuelled by a boundless curiosity about the human condition, Quilty won the Doug Moran Prize in 2009 and his remarkable portrait of Margaret Olley won the 2011 Archibald Portrait Prize. Using the Art Gallery of South Australia’s 2019 survey exhibition of Quilty’s work as a framework for her film, Catherine Hunter explores the journey of the artist from that of a young man obsessed with Holden Toranas to the one who brought, through his art, the full spectrum of the Afghanistan tragedy to public consciousness.

Running Time: 60 minutes

ATOM has also produced a study guide for Quilty - Painting the Shadows. This study guide is available for download here.


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