Oscar Wilde's The Nightingale and the Rose - hero image
Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose, Dirs. Del Kathryn Barton and Brendan Fletcher. Prod. Aquarius Films, 2015

ACMI presents

Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose


This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.


5 Jun – 11 Sep 2016

Showcasing the hauntingly beautiful collaboration between two-time Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton and acclaimed filmmaker Brendan Fletcher, this milestone exhibition traces the compelling interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s 19th century classic through a sophisticated and nuanced artistic lens.

Featuring a selection of Barton’s evocative paintings alongside a screening of the film, stunning never-before-seen handmade props, and material from the production archives, Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose reveals the extraordinary workings behind this captivating animated picture.

Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose has its genesis in a commission by ArtAnd Foundation, who asked Del Kathryn Barton in 2010 to reimagine a timeless fairytale. A long-time aficionado of Wilde’s works, Barton was struck by using The Nightingale as inspiration; one of his most poignant stories and related intrinsically to her own work with its vulnerable but emboldened feminine protagonist. Produced over two years, Barton’s collection luminously breathes life into Wilde’s classic in her signature style.

It was a synchronous moment when Barton mentioned to director and friend Brendan Fletcher that she was eager to transform her Nightingale world into film. Though neither possessed an animation background, together they embraced the project with a vision to offer something new and different to the genre, whilst remaining authentic to Wilde’s prose and Barton’s astounding feel for the handmade.

Working with award-winning visual effects house Method Studios, the final creation is an intense but remarkably ethereal gesture to the tragic earnestness of Wilde’s tale. Layered with stirring score by Sarah Blasko and voiced by some of Australia’s most celebrated actors, including Mia Wasikowska, Geoffrey Rush and David Wenham, the film is a shining example of multidisciplinary partnerships across the creative arts.

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