In this episode about cityscapes, art lover Rachel Griffiths explores her own hometown of Melbourne to find the exact location where Clarice Beckett painted her 1919 pandemic-era painting of Luna Park.
First up is a visit to Brighton’s famous Bathing Boxes, which appear frequently in Beckett’s work. Clarice Beckett was virtually unknown until the 1960s, when art curator Rosalind Hollinrake discovered over 2000 paintings decaying in a cowshed in country Victoria.
A trip to Adelaide and the Art Gallery of South Australia brings Rachel face to face with the original pint-sized painting.
Curator Tracey Lock muses with Rachel how this Luna Park scene depicted during a global pandemic 100 years ago holds great resonance for a modern-day audience who have just endured two years of lockdowns and deserted city streets.
Just around the corner from her home, Rachel arrives at St Kilda Pier to hear from Boon Warrung Elder N’arwee’t Aunty Carolyn Briggs, whose ancestors have been faithful custodians of this country for millennia.
Arriving at the smiling face, Rachel has one last person to meet, her mother. Anna Griffiths recalls how she fought to save this amusement park from the hands of developers, so this place could be enjoyed for future generations.
Production credit: A Mint Pictures production in association with Magdalene Media. Principal production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC. In association with Screen NSW. Series Director Ariel White. Field Producer Kirrilly Brentall. Series Producer Dan Goldberg. Executive Producers Adam Kay, Rachel Griffiths & Ariel
Great Southern Landscapes – Series 1, Episode 2 of 6 airs Tuesday 16 August at 8.00pm on ABC and iview