Mr Patterns

2004, 54.5 Minutes

Mr Patterns

In the 1970s in Australia's Western Desert, a teacher named Geoff Bardon helped start one of the most significant art movements of the 20th century. Working with the Aboriginal community at Papunya, he encouraged the people to paint their traditional dot designs using western materials. In defiance of white authorities, Bardon also encouraged the artists to value their work commercially as well as spiritually, believing that by selling paintings the people could become independent of welfare as well as bring Indigenous art to the attention of the wider community. This is his story.

A Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Reel World Productions. Developed with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission and the NSW Film and Television Office. Developed and produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Classification: PG. Consumer advice: Medium level coarse language. A non-expletive version suitable for use at all school levels is also available.

For Teachers

Level: Secondary, Tertiary, Lifelong Learning

Curriculum links include Studies of Society and Environment/Human Society and Its Environment (SOSE/HSIE), Visual Arts, Cultural Studies, Aboriginal Studies, Australian Studies, English and Media Studies.

Adobe Acrobat icon Mr Patterns Teachers Notes (Acrobat PDF Document, 270Kb)

Related Material

Adobe Acrobat icon Mr Patterns Press Kit (Microsoft Word Document, 52Kb)

See Also

Boomalli - Five Koorie Artists, Namatjira the Painter, Women of Utopia