The Art of Australia
Former director and chief curator of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon explores the story of Australian art through the country’s rich cultural traditions stretching back 30,000 years.
Part 1: Strangers in a Strange Land
Edmund Capon tells the story of how art helped European settlers come to terms with such an unfamiliar land on the other side of the world and how, ignoring 60,000 years of indigenous culture, they saw the place through a distorted European lens, until a uniquely Australian impressionism reflected the emergence of a distinctive national identity and an independent nation.
Part 2: Coming of Age
Edmund Capon explores how Australian art evolved in the first half of the 20th century against the backdrop of two world wars. As modern artists expressed both the dreams and demons of this new nation, they met with decades of disapproval from the old guard, until they finally revolutionised Australian art and heralded its arrival on the world stage.
Part 3: Beyond Australia
Edmund Capon explores how, from the 1960s onwards, Australia and its art went global. Transformed into a migrant nation, Australia’s dependence on Britain and Europe ended and artists and nation alike turned their attention to America and then Asia. And it was the world’s most ancient art form, indigenous art from the heart of the continent that would become modern Australia’s instantly recognizable calling card.