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UAL Research Online

Figuring Landscapes in Australian Artists’ Film and Video

Elwes, Catherine (2013) Figuring Landscapes in Australian Artists’ Film and Video. In: Film Landscapes: Cinema, Environment and Visual Culture. Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 164-182. ISBN 9781443843720

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Elwes, Catherine

Drawing on her experience as director of the international touring exhibition, Figuring Landscapes, (2009-2010) Elwes considers the issues that face both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists when, armed with a camera, they confront the mythic landscape of their homeland. This chapter highlights the varying senses of entitlement to ‘figure’ the landscape of the Australian continent as expressed by a range of contemporary artists. The ongoing legacy of colonial invasion forms the backdrop to an examination of the ‘cultural awkwardness’ demonstrated by the descendents of white settlers that led, in the last 20 years to a retreat into ‘non-territorial’ digital abstractions of landscape. This contrasts with indigenous Australians’ growing confidence in the appropriation of film and video as legal artefacts in the ongoing struggle to establish their land rights. Indigeneity is itself a contested term in Australia and this chapter considers a revival of interest among all native-born Australians in Wolfgang Stechow’s contention that “nature redeems all”. The author asks, are we witnessing a return to a ‘re-particularised’ imaging of landscape among non-Aboriginal artists such as Sean Gladwell and Lyndal Jones, and how does this relate to Aboriginal appropriation of ‘white’ Australian cultural forms in the work of artists such as Vernon Ah Kee? Elwes argues that the totality of this body of work represent a new, truly post-colonial state of landscape film and video that embraces Jones’ optimistic view of the land that “we are all simply part of it”.

Official Website: http://www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/Film-Landscapes--Cinema--Environment-and-Visual-Culture1-4438-4372-5.htm
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Cambridge Scholars
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: March 2013
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 10:05
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2013 10:05
Item ID: 5977
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/5977

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