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Image Ian Fairweather: 'Monastery', 1961

TLF ID M012590

This resource includes an enlargeable image of the painting 'Monastery' by Ian Fairweather 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 abstract painting represents Fairweather's spiritual experience of Buddhist monastic life.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a resource of great value for the Responding strand of the Visual Arts curriculum in upper-primary and secondary schooling. The content descriptions can assist students responding to the visual arts works of Australian artists and considering the broader contexts of their works and their contribution to the development of Australian art. 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.
  • 'Monastery', 1961 is important for its historical and cultural significance and for the efforts by artists such as Ian Fairweather (1891-1974) to develop a uniquely Australian style of representation. As described in the soundtrack and onscreen text, Fairweather was drawn to Buddhism and captured the ethereal, monastic environment through the patterns made by his black and white calligraphic lines.
  • The resource may have substantial value for the cross-curriculum priority Asia and Australia's relationship with Asia. It is evocative of the influence of Asian cultures and philosophies on Australian art.
  • The resource may also have some relevance for the Literacy and Critical and creative thinking general capabilities.
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
  • © 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.