The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne will be celebrating the extraordinary animated collaboration of two-time Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton and acclaimed filmmaker Brendan Fletcher with a new exhibition, “Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose,” which opens June 21 and runs through September 18, 2016.
The exhibit in ACMI’s Gallery 2 will feature original artworks, hand-crafted paper props, photos of the animation production process and behind-the-scenes interviews with the creative team — as well as a space to watch the film in its entirety.
Produced by Aquarius Films, The Nightingale and the Rose features the voices of some of Australia’s best known actors, including Mia Wasikowska, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush, as well as a score by singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko. It won Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2015 and was nominated for the Crystal Bear at Berlin the same year. The film has its genesis in a commission by the ARTAND Foundation (previously Art & Australia), which in 2010 asked Del Kathryn Barton to reimagine the timeless fairytale with original artworks.
Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s classic story, the 14-minute short blends Barton’s distinctive painting, papercraft, stop-motion and digital effects and manipulation (produced with some help from Method Studios) to explore the tragic fairytale story of the Nightingale, who gives up her life so that the Student can offer a red rose to the girl he admires, only for her to spurn his gift and cause him to swear off love completely.
“From the making of my paintings and drawings for the [Art&Australia] book project, to a three year (and often agonising) marathon making the animation, the Nightingale experience has been an extraordinary and multifaceted creative journey,” says Barton. “I feel so blessed to have shared the challenges of this journey with so many talented collaborators and to have created relationships that will no doubt enable many more film projects. I am truly in love with this exciting, exacting medium!”