Did you know there was a piano on the First Fleet? That the first convict artist was hanged for his trouble? That the first female author here started writing under a man’s name? That the King owns the painting of our Federation? And did you know that there was a convict who wrote a dictionary of Australian slang? A man who was transported to Australia a record three times? And what about the world’s first full-length feature film? Made in Australia, way back in 1906! These are just some of the many fascinating stories in Imagining Australia: a history of our nation through music, film, literature & art.
The history of Australia is incredibly interesting. Often hilarious, sometimes infuriating. Especially when it is told by its artists. Writers, painters, musicians, filmmakers: they hold up a mirror and tell us who we are. They have done that from the start of white occupation. And, of course, long before.
Imagining Australia tells a story of our nation through the eyes of people who are trained to observe. Artists look at the world around them much more carefully than most of us. And what they see both describes and shapes our nation.
In more than 80 well-researched and highly engaging chapters, Imagining Australia looks at our history by discussing movies, paintings, photographs, songs, and books. It puts them in the context of the times they were made, and asks what they say about who we were and who we have become. History and the arts are two sides of the same coin. Each is reflected in the other. Imagining Australia takes you on an extraordinary journey of discovery.