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Listed under:  Arts  >  Visual arts  >  Symbols
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Symbols of Australia

This resource explores some of the symbols Australians have chosen to represent themselves and their nation. The website is based on an exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

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TrackSAFE Education Primary School Resources: Year 5, Year 6 The Arts

This unit uses dance, drama, visual arts and music to communicate student-created safety messages. Using a community-based scenario, students devise an improvised drama and choreograph a dance to highlight the importance of safe track-side behaviours; they use artworks to explore the effect of colour before creating a cartoon-based ...

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A story of Mount Merapi

Indonesians whose homes are near Mount Merapi, a live volcano, live with the constant threat of its eruption. Over time, a sense of mysticism, ritual and story has grown around the volcano's power. Drawing on this history, Australian puppet theatre company Snuff Puppets collaborated with Indonesian artists to perform 'Wedhus ...

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Shots in word pictures

How can visual artwork enhance our experience of the written word? Here, a reading from 'Shots', a memoir by Cold Chisel's primary songwriter Don Walker, is accompanied by a series of images by animator and illustrator Marieka Walsh. This clip was taken from a series titled 'Radio With Pictures'. To find out more visit ...

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A hairy theatrical design

How do you feel about keeping the hair of a loved one as a memento? The Sisters Hayes (Christina, Esther and Rebecca) are the set and costume designers for 'Blood Wedding' at the Malthouse Theatre. In this clip the sisters discuss both the process of developing the design for the play and the inspiration for including hair ...

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Michael Leunig's duck: a conversation

Have you ever had a sudden burst of inspiration and wondered where it came from? That was the case for Michael Leunig, well-known Australian cartoonist, writer, artist and philosopher. Sometimes ideas come to us in abstract ways, as symbols. In this audio clip, Leunig explains the symbolism behind his now famous 'direction-finding ...

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Twist, coil and stitch with Mary Barron

Mary Elizabeth Barron started her art career after raising her children, and the idea of family and of connections between people is central to her art. Using discarded clothing, she weaves together her passions: sustainability, recycling, and the essence of people.

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Imagery: the key to an effective poem

Close your eyes and picture a simple key. What does it mean to you? Many poems are structured around a single extended metaphor, an image that the poet returns to throughout their work, developing it into a rich and complex symbol. In this lyrical and emotive poem, Martin Ingle turns the deceptively simple image of a key ...

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What most figures in Boyd's paintings?

Australian artist Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) has contributed a huge amount to Australian art, says former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Edmund Capon. Hear Capon's view that, although many of Boyd's paintings are of Australian landscapes, the focus is more on the people within them, and about Boyd's own thoughts ...

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The Umbrella Movement: Protests in Hong Kong

This lesson sequence examines the relationship between China and Hong Kong and explores the methods and symbolism behind the democracy protests that occurred when Beijing blocked nominations for the election of Hong Kong's chief executive in 2017.

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TrackSAFE Education Primary School Resources: Year 3, Year 4 The Arts

This unit uses various arts practices as the stimuli for exploring the safety message of Stop, Look, Listen, Think. Students create woven artworks to incorporate safety messages; they collaboratively develop a play about safety; and explore rap as a music form and combined with dance convey a safety message in a performance.

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Images and symbols for quick, persuasive power

What can you do in just a few minutes? Current affairs stories are only a few minutes long yet need to present an entire argument. Let's explore a story about digital footprints, to see how words and images are used to convey a lot of meaning in a short space of time.

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Alexander Dick: 'Tea service' c. 1828

Alexander Dick was one of the few professional silversmiths operating in Sydney Town in the 1820s. He immigrated to Sydney in 1824 as a free settler; however, he was later convicted of receiving stolen silver and was shipped to Norfolk Island for four years, an Island owned by the British at this time off the coast of the ...

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'The Rajah quilt' 1841

The Rajah quilt was made by female convicts on route from England to the colony of Tasmania in 1841. It consists of 2815 pieces of fabric and was presented to the Governor's wife upon arrival as a testament to the women's industry. The women learned these skills on the long journey to Australia on board their convict ship ...

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Surrealist art: weird and wonderful

Surrealist art began in the early part of the 20th century. Artists and writers used dreams, their fears or the unconscious mind as inspiration for their artwork. In this clip, find out more about surrealism and its influence on artists of the past and of today.

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Reframing the art of Daniel Boyd

Aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd's work satirically challenges the traditional history of Australian colonisation. Boyd takes artworks and iconography from the European perspective and reframes the work to express the Indigenous Australian experience. Here we see him discuss how he develops his work and the thinking and feeling ...

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Sydney: lighting the way for art

See the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up like a rainbow and the Sydney Opera House become a canvas for a brilliant light display. During the annual Vivid Sydney event the city's iconic architecture and places are illuminated in a spectacular lightshow.

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Filming a surrealist dream

Discover the world of surrealism in film as we take a quick look at the 'Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams' exhibition at GOMA, the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland.

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Morning star poles tell an artistic story

Have you ever seen the morning star? Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi creates morning star poles, or banumbirr, to celebrate the morning star and the importance it holds in his people's lives. Gurruwiwi is a traditional Aboriginal (Yolngu) Mala leader and Galpu clan representative. In this clip, see how Gurruwiwi creates the ...

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'The Be'

The stories we tell reveal a lot about our culture and what we value. Explore the story of the Be man, which comes from Dalabon country in the Northern Territory. This animated story is about two brothers who investigate a mysterious visitor to their home.