Catherine Hunter

Streeton: A Life DVD

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Filmed in conjunction with the Streeton retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Streeton: A Life explores the key moments in Arthur Streeton’s artistic journey. From his early days in the artist camps in Victoria with Tom Roberts and Charles Conder to his arrival in Sydney in 1890, the film documents his growing confidence as a young artist.

“I sit on our hill of gold... the wind seems sunburnt and fiery as it runs through my beard... and I smile at all the light, glory and quivering brightness passes slowly and freely before my eyes.”
Arthur Streeton, 1891

Through his correspondence, read by actor Mark Lee, Streeton’s voice is integral to the telling of the story. When used as commentary for Streeton’s paintings, his voice provides a personal perspective alongside the commentaries of curators and critics. His correspondence with Nora his wife is both tender and insightful, showing the rich artistic life they led together, and this element is beautifully realised through overlays of photos and extracts from Arthur’s letters.

Streeton’s environmental activism is described through his paintings and ranges from his opposition to the proposed mining of Sydney Harbour in the 1890s to his concerns about the logging of old growth forests.

The filmmakers were granted access to film at Streeton’s house in the Dandenongs where the garden was the inspiration for much of the artist’s later work.

Together these elements provide a rich and engaging portrait of Arthur Streeton, and best of all is the outstanding presentation of so many of the artist’s images in exquisite and accurate colour.

This DVD is inspiring and highly recommended.

duration: 35 minutes