WARNING: this article may contain names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The NFSA presents film and sound portraits of many of Australia's most celebrated artists and arts workers in our new curated collection Art in Australia. The collection represents a slice of the Australian art world from the 1950s to the 80s and reveals interconnections, inspirational advice, artistic decisions, struggles and banter from our greats.
We see rivalries unveiled between greats Margaret Olley, Jeffrey Smart and Arthur Boyd. Brett Whiteley talks about his 'powerful gift' and prophetically observes that gifted people are prone to 'shipwrecking'. Bohemian artist families - the Boyds, Moras and Percevals - set the scene in 1950s Melbourne in a series of home movies narrated by director Philippe Mora.
Rare footage of Sir Sidney Nolan shows him talking candidly about his iconic Ned Kelly series. Also revealed is the first installation of Nolan’s large-scale mural Snake (1970-72). There are newsreels showing important firsts and scandals - from the year 1964 when no Archibald Prize was awarded, to the purchase of Jackson Pollock’s controversial million dollar painting Blue Poles, and Martin Sharp's first solo exhibition in 1965.
Representing Australia at the Venice Bienale
Almost 30 years before Tracey Moffatt was invited to exhibit My Horizon at the 2017 Venice Biennale, she was firmly establishing herself as a filmmaker and photographer, not afraid of protesting for what she believed in, as we see in the excerpt below.