Warwick Thornton - Stranded

Exhibition: 7 September to 8 October, 2011

Warwick Thornton

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When I grow up I want to be just like Jesus.

Warwick Thornton, aged 6

Warwick Thornton is a Kaytej man whose customary lands reside to the north of Alice Springs where he has lived the majority of hislife. A film-maker of singularly distinctive vision, his first feature Samson and Delilah (2009) took the national and international film world by storm, winning numerous awards including the Caméra d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It continues to challenge, confront and seduce audiences with its visceral depiction of damaged young romance in truly dysfunctional settings of time and place.

Stranded, Thornton’s foray into creating artwork for a gallery space was commissioned by the 2011 Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival through its investment fund. It premiered at the festival in Stop(the)Gap, a major international Indigenous moving image project curated by Brenda L Croft for the Samstag Museum of Art. Stills Gallery is proud to premiere in Sydney the 3Dscreening of Stranded and a series of photographic works inspired by the video.

The video features Thornton “as the central Christ-like figure - dead centre, if you like - with the unexpected addition of a skull and crossbones. Thornton’s figure revolves in space above a mirrored waterhole in the brilliant harshness of the broken heartland, heightened by the unnerving sounds of wide open spaces - the chirruping of native birds, the ubiquitous blowfly buzz, the whoomp-ing sensation of windmill...or wind turbine? Dream(ing) or nightmare, or both?”

Brenda L Croft 2011 Stop (the) Gap catalogue essay