1984, 1986, 1990. Total Running Time 329 Minutes (7 x Episodes)
A seven part, historically grouped Australian Eye series of 32 films on Australian art. Each part covers artists of distinctive periods and the series is designed for use by teachers and the art-loving public generally. In 30 of the films, a particular master work is examined in detail. The remaining two films deal with special subjects, Melbourne painting in the 1940’s and contemporary painting.
Based on the principle that the more one knows about a work of art the better one can appreciate it, this series makes a detailed examination of many of Australia’s most outstanding paintings. Besides scrutinising one key work in close detail, each film reveals, wherever possible, the artist’s drawings and studies for that work, and shows other related works. Many little known paintings from private collections have been included. Living artists have been recorded, talking about their techniques and the ideas behind their paintings. The letters and journals of earlier artists are drawn on, as well as the views of critics of the day.
Every film was made in consultation with a leading expert on the artist, and scripts were discussed with the Education Department of NSW prior to production. The series consultant was Daniel Thomas, Curator of Australian Art at the Australian National Gallery, Canberra.
Australian Eye, The: Four Colonial Painters 1832-1887 (1984, 40 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode examines the work of a group of artists, known as colonial painters, during the period 1832-1887. The following paintings are examined: ’Launceston and the River Tamar’ (c. 1832) by John Glover, ‘The Conciliation’ (1840) by Benjamin Duterrau, ‘Mount William From Mount Dryden’ (1857) by Eugen von Guerard and ‘Lake St Clair’ (1887) by William Charles Piguenit.
Australian Eye, The: The Australian Impressionists 1888-1896 (1984, 66 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode looks at the following artists and their work: Charles Conder and his painting ‘A Holiday at Mentone’ (1888), Tom Roberts and his paintings ‘The Breakaway’ (1890-91) and 'Shearing the Rams' (1890), Arthur Streeton’s painting ‘Fire's On, Lapstone Tunnel’ (1891), David Davies and his work ‘Moonrise, Templestowe’ (1894) and Frederick McCubbin and his painting ‘On The Wallaby Track’ (1896).
Australian Eye, The: Symbolism and Luxury – The New Century 1897-1911 (1984, 36 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode looks at the work of some Australian painters during the period 1897-1911. The following paintings are examined: ‘The Spirit of the Plains’ (1897) by Sydney Long, ‘Endormies’ (c. 1904) by Rupert Bunny, ‘The Mother’ (1907) by George W. Lambert and ‘The Ferry’ (1910-1911) by E. Phillips Fox.
Australian Eye, The: The Australian Modernists 1916-1942 (1984, 48 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode examines the work of a group of painters known as the Australian Modernists (1916-1942). The following paintings are examined: ‘Down The Hills to Berrys Bay’ (1916) by Roland Wakelin, ‘Rhythmic Composition in Yellow Green Minor’ (1919) by Roy de Maistre, ‘The Lacquer Room’ (c. 1936) by Grace Cossington Smith, ‘Study for “Dog Gymkhana”’(1938) by Frank Hinder and ‘Flying over the Shoalhaven River’ (1942) by Margaret Preston.
Australian Eye, The: Sydney – The School of the Forties 1941-1981 (1984, 37 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode looks at the work of a group of Australian painters from 1941 to 1981. The following paintings are examined: ‘Man Feeding His Dogs’ (1941) by Russell Drysdale, ‘Madame Sosostris’ (1948) by Robert Klippel and James Gleeson, ‘Portrait of Dame Mary Gilmore’ (1957) by William Dobell and ‘Sydney 1942’ (1981) by Sali Herman.
Australian Eye, The: Melbourne – The School of the Forties 1943-1981 (1986, 42 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode looks at the work of a group of painters from the period 1943 to 1947. The following paintings are examined: ‘Victory Girls’ (1943) by Albert Tucker, ‘The Mining Town’ (1946-1947) by Arthur Boyd and ‘Stringybark Creek’ (1946) by Sidney Nolan.
Australian Eye, The: Contemporary Painting 1950-1975 (1990, 60 Minutes) This Australian Eye episode looks at the work of a group of Australian painters during the period 1950-1979. The following paintings are examined: ‘The Harbour From McMahon’s Point’ (1950) by Lloyd Rees, ‘Epiphany’ (1962) by Ian Fairweather, ‘Self Portrait in the Studio’ (1976) by Brett Whiteley, ‘Truck and Trailer Heading into a City’ (1973) by Jeffrey Smart and ‘Waterfall Polyptych’ (1979) by Fred Williams.
© 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director/Writer: David Muir
Producer: Malcolm Otton
Year: 1984, 1986, 1990
Total Running Time: 329 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Art Education; Art History and Curatorial Studies; Art Theory; SOSE/HSIE - 'Exploring Australia's National Identity'; Visual Arts.