Mother Courage - Warwick Thornton
Mother Courage - Warwick Thornton
Mother Courage (production still), image courtesy of the artist and Scarlett Pictures

Commissioned by ACMI and Documenta (13)

Warwick Thornton: Mother Courage


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5 Feb – 23 Jun 2013

An immersive film installation that offers a striking and poetic perspective of Indigenous life in Australia.

Acclaimed filmmaker and artist Warwick Thornton has a distinctive and powerful cinematic voice. He won the Cannes Film Festival's Camera d'Or for his debut feature, Samson and Delilah  (2009) and exhibited Stranded  (2011) at the Samstag Museum of Art during the Adelaide Film Festival.

Mother Courage was an immersive film installation that offered a striking and poetic perspective of Indigenous life in Australia. Based upon Bertolt Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children,  it explored cultural displacement and the tensions between contemporary urban and traditional Indigenous lifestyles.

On the final weekend of this much celebrated exhibition, Thornton's mischievous title character took her art to the street, parking her van in the Fed Square Atrium. This occurred as part of The Light in Winter , Fed Square's month-long program of free performances, exhibitions, film screenings and forums.

Education Resource
The Warwick Thornton: Mother Courage Education Resource (aimed at upper secondary and tertiary students) provides background to the artist's immersive film installation. It includes discussion topics for extended classroom engagement and materials of particular relevance for Media, Studio Arts and English studies.

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Our commissions support the creation of new works by providing artists with the time and resources to nurture and develop ideas, to pursue cross-disciplinary collaborations and to work at a scale that would not otherwise be possible.

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