The Art of Australia

Published on 7th June 2017 by

Edmund Capon, the former Director and Chief Curator of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, explores the history of art in Australia in this three part BBC Four documentary series. The series was first broadcast in 2015 and all three episodes are available to watch here on Documentary Vine (navigate via the numbered tabs beneath the video player, or via the episode links below).

Episode 1 – Strangers in a Strange Land

The story of how art helped new European settlers adapt to an alien culture on the other side of the world, and how they ignored tens of thousands of years of indigenous culture and viewed the place through a distorted Western European lens until a new unique Australian impressionism emerged to reflect the evolution of a distinct Australian national identity.

Episode 2 – Coming of Age

The second episode explores the evolution of Australian art through the first half of the 20th century against the backdrop of two world wars, and how a new generation of modern artists overcame disapproval from the old guard to take Australian art to the world stage.

Episode 3 – Beyond Australia

The third and final episode tells how from the sixties onwards Australian art went global and its artists turned their attentions towards the American and Asian markets, but it was the countries indigenous art which would become instantly recognizable.

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