Video James Cant: 'Objects in the landscape', 1936

TLF ID M012595

This resource includes an enlargeable image, with corresponding catalogue information, of the surrealist painting 'Objects in the landscape' by James Cant (1911-82). There is also a video with audio commentary, onscreen text on the artist's career and an interpretation of the painting. Cant was influenced by Surrealism, particularly the work of Joan Miro, and this resource explores his ideas in constructing a theatrical composition of organic, symbolic forms reminiscent of a surrealist landscape.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a resource of great value for the Responding strand of the Visual arts curriculum in years 9 and 10, especially 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.
  • The resource can be used to develop knowledge and understanding of Australian art, particularly the contributions of two-dimensional artists in the modern era. Learners could make connections between their own and other artists' works.
  • 'Objects in the landscape' is significant as it exemplifies how 20th-century Australian artists were influenced by international styles and adapted them to an Australian context. The painting's composition follows the surrealist traditions of drawing highly symbolic ideas from the subconscious. Cant's abstract forms are reminiscent of Miro's and represent figures in a theatrical landscape. Surrealist artists followed a manifesto that outlined not just an art style but a philosophy of life.
Year level

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
  • Video
  • Image
  • Text
  • © 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.