– Del Kathryn Barton 'The Nightingale and the Rose' at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image –
In 2010 ARTAND Foundation invited celebrated Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton to create a new series of works that reinterpreted a classic fairytale. A long time Oscar Wilde enthusiast, Barton was immediately drawn to his ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ (1888), a poignant short story that centres on a vulnerable but courageous feminine protagonist.
Produced over the course of two years, Barton’s collection reimagines Wilde’s narrative in her enchanting signature style. Using a meditative and meticulous mark making technique, Wilde’s characters take on reinvigorated meaning – luminous in form, they are powerful and magnificent in their physicality.
It was a serendipitous moment when in 2012, Barton casually mentioned to acclaimed Australian filmmaker Brendan Fletcher that she was eager to make her Nightingale works into a short film. Despite neither having an animation background, Barton and Fletcher were inspired by their shared vision to offer something new and special to the field. Their ensuing collaboration would combine Barton’s extraordinary feel for the handmade with Fletcher’s dynamic directional skills, while still remaining true to the original text.
Over the next three years, Barton and Fletcher worked with award-winning post-production house Method Studios to create their 14-minute animation. A remarkable take on Wilde’s earnest tale, the final production is an intense but stunningly ethereal and visceral journey. With a stirring score by Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko and voiced by some of Australia’s most celebrated actors, Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose is a feat of multidisciplinary, collaborative art practice.
Celebrating both the film itself and the exemplary processes behind its creation, Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose invites visitors into a truly immersive Nightingaleworld.
Learn more about the project on the ACMI website