Image Margaret Preston: 'Flying over the Shoalhaven', 1942

TLF ID M012588

This resource includes an enlargeable image of the painting 'Flying over Shoalhaven River' by Margaret Preston and catalogue information about the painting. There is also a video with audio commentary and corresponding onscreen text that provides an interpretation of the painting and information about the artist's views. The painting represents a modernist's view of the Australian landscape. Its central feature is the meandering Shoalhaven River that connects the compositional space from top to bottom.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is of great value for the Responding strand of the Visual Arts curriculum in upper-primary and secondary schooling. It is especially so for content descriptions that may refer to students responding to the visual arts works of Australian artists and considering the broader historical and cultural contexts and significance of their work. The resource gives students the opportunity to examine the painting closely and to read and listen to a senior curator's response to the work.
  • 'Flying over Shoalhaven River', 1942, is of significance because it exemplifies the efforts by artists such as Margaret Preston (1875-1963) to develop a uniquely Australian style of representation. As described in the soundtrack, Preston advocated for the exchange of ideas between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, and Asian artists.
  • The resource may also have some relevance for the Literacy and Critical and creative thinking general capabilities.
  • 'Flying over Shoalhaven River' is a significant painting in the career of Margaret Preston. She is usually renowned for her still-life woodblock prints but, during the 1940s, she concentrated on painting landscapes reminiscent of the styles of Indigenous artists. At this time, she restricted her palette to earthy colours, using strong linear patterns and flattened space to construct her compositions.
Year level

5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: National Gallery of Australia
  • Organization: National Gallery of Australia
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: National Gallery of Australia
  • Organization: National Gallery of Australia
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • Text
  • Video
  • © National Gallery of Australia 2009 (except where otherwise indicated). This material may be copied, downloaded, communicated and displayed free of charge for non-commercial educational use until 31 December 2015, provided all acknowledgements associated with the material are retained.