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Every painting tells a story

At first glance you will see in Thomas Faed's painting 'Worn Out' (1868) a sleeping child in a bed holding the sleeve of a man asleep in a chair beside him. You might imagine the story shown here and think about the way the painting makes you feel. This clip has many more clues that will help you understand the story in ...

Interactive

Contemporary: Art Gallery of NSW - iTunes app

Explore a selection of artists and artworks from the contemporary collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, including the John Kaldor Family collection. Contains images, background information on the artists and their art, and some audio curator insights and video interviews. Artworks are from 1960s to 2010s. Free ...

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My Place - Episode 15: 1868: Minna, The Chinese house

Minna and her friend Adelaide visit Mr Wong's residence to give him some news about the change to a local law regarding Chinese migration. Mr Wong shows them a magic lantern that projects images of his family.

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My Place - Episode 15: 1868: Minna, Making amends

Minna and Adelaide confess to stealing the lantern after Mr Owen refuses to return it to Mr Wong. Minna's father has her make amends for her transgression by working for Mr Wong - a punishment that Mr Owen finds inappropriate.

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My Place - Episode 14: 1878: Henry, The Chinese dragon

The local population brings in the Chinese New Year with traditional celebrations. Henry and Franklin contribute to the proceedings by launching their lanterns.

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J. W. Lindt: 'Mourners and dead house at Kalo, New Guinea' 1885

J. W. Lindt's book of Picturesque New Guinea was a first introduction for many readers to New Guinea. His fascination with the Papuans began when he travelled back to Australia via the Torres Strait in 1868 after a trip to Europe. When a protectorate colony was declared over parts of South East New Guinea in 1884 he volunteered ...

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Alexander Dick: 'Tea service' c. 1828

Alexander Dick was one of the few professional silversmiths operating in Sydney Town in the 1820s. He immigrated to Sydney in 1824 as a free settler; however, he was later convicted of receiving stolen silver and was shipped to Norfolk Island for four years, an Island owned by the British at this time off the coast of the ...

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Advertising for love

In 1875, when Edward William Cole was in need of a wife, he did the practical thing: he advertised for one. Mr Cole owned what was, in its time, regarded as the largest bookstore in the world, Cole's Book Arcade in Melbourne. In this clip, Aden Rolfe tells a quirky Australian love story, using digital media and illustrations ...

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John Glover: 'Mr Robinson's house on the Derwent, Van Diemen's Land' c. 1838

Artists were often captivated by their first glimpse of the Australian landscape and portrayed the countryside with a sense of wonder. This example by John Glover includes trees with curled branches, brightly lit skies and colour infused hills. How does this image compare to others you have seen of this period?

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Ngurdungurdu: The Tiger Shark

The Tiger Shark travels from the east to his country at the mouth of the Wearyan River on the Gulf coast of the Northern Territory. On his way he encounters the Rock Wallaby, who drives him from her country. The Rrumburriya clan of the Yanyuma people are the custodians of the Tiger Shark Dreaming. This story from the Yanyuwa ...

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li-Maramaranja: Dugong Hunters

The story of the Dugong Hunters, or li-Maramaranja, belongs to the Rrumburriya clan of the Yanyuwa people, who live along the Gulf coast of the Northern Territory. In this story, the dugong hunter Jurruji encounters trouble when he falls into a crevasse on an island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. This story from the Yanyuwa ...

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John Eyre: (print after) 'Port Jackson Harbour NSW' 1812

This panoramic view of Port Jackson shows the fledgling European settlement taking shape. Part of a set of 12, this print was drawn by convict artist John Eyre who was transported for breaking and entering. The intended clientele included local trading ships and members of the British military and naval forces. The series ...

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Eugene von Guerard: 'North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko' 1863

In this landscape Eugene von Guérard blends topographical accuracy with the grandness of a mountain top view which he witnessed in 1862 as a member of a geographical survey led by scientist Georg von Neumayer. The artist has taken some liberties with the depiction of the boulders in the foreground to demonstrate the enormous ...

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Arthur Merric Boyd: 'Gathering seaweed before the storm, Sandringham beach' 1900

Arthur Boyd's interest in seeking to capture the effects of light on water is demonstrated here. How does he convey the impression of an approaching storm? How do you think painting outdoors influences the use of light and colour he uses in his art?

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Louis Buvelot: 'Near Fernshaw' 1873

Louis Buvelot depicted the Australian landscape with a sense of familiarity that many settlers had come to feel about their new homeland. The influence of the outdoor painting style saw his work become known for revealing the hidden beauty in seemingly normal landscapes. How does Buvelot achieve this sense of familiarity ...

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Manankurra Kujika: the song of the Tiger Shark

The Rrumburriya clan of the Yanyuma people are the custodians of the Tiger Shark Dreaming. In this animation, the Tiger Shark sings plants, fish, birds, fresh water and people at Manankurra, at the mouth of the Wearyan River on the Gulf coast of the Northern Territory. This story from the Yanyuwa people is one of nine that ...

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Purdiwan: Pretty One

The Garrwa people live inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria, on either side of the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland. In this brief but beautiful animation, a Garrwa woman herds her pretty goats eastward.

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Reframing the art of Daniel Boyd

Aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd's work satirically challenges the traditional history of Australian colonisation. Boyd takes artworks and iconography from the European perspective and reframes the work to express the Indigenous Australian experience. Here we see him discuss how he develops his work and the thinking and feeling ...

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A curator's life

Imagine what it would feel like to spend your life looking after remnants of the past. This is the life of many museum curators. Enchanted by old things since childhood, Catherine Reade has turned this love into a career where she can use her knowledge of art history to help manage and care for collections of art and artefacts. 

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Conrad Martens: 'View from Rose Bank' 1840

Many early artists romanticised the Australian colonial landscape and did not always strictly paint what they saw. In this example Martens has given the landscape a decidedly Italian atmosphere, softening the colour palate and creating a more ‘civilised' view. Can you think of why the artist may be interested in changing ...