The BBC recently broadcast The Art of Australia, presented by Edmund Capon, a former Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I knew nothing about Australian art, not even the names of any artists, so I watched the documentary to see what I was missing. A whole world, apparently – I was blown away by the energy, bravura, and sheer diversity of Australia’s artistic output.
The BBC series has packed up its tents and the programs are no longer available. Fortunately, the series is still being broadcast by ABC for Australian viewers, and their website still has the first two episodes online. The last won’t be broadcast till November 5.
As a taster, here’s the video of a talk in the Art Gallery of NSW about Sidney Nolan, one of the most interesting of the modernist painters featured in the series. He’s well-known for his iconic portrayals of Ned Kelly, as shown above in The Gathering.