2011 Festival of Ideas - The Pull of the Landscape: The Artist's Share

The Australian landscape has been a constant source of inspiration to artists from the dawn of time. Indigenous artists have for thousands of years made paintings and carvings to reflect their deep attachment to the land and as a way of affirming their deepest beliefs in their origins and the sources of their ongoing life. From the start of white settlement, the dense bush and the immense spaces of the land, the intractable wilderness and the repose of the pastoral landscape have brought forth paintings of power and originality. These works have greatly influenced how Australians view and value their own country.

The session on The Pull of the Landscape: The Artist's Share brings together three leading contemporary artists - Katherine Hattam, Jan Senbergs and John Wolseley - to address the issue as to whether the Australian landscape still exerts a power over contemporary art. If it does, what are the distinctive qualities of the Australian landscape which move artists today?