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Creative Minds

SBS DVD | ISBN 9322225099760

Number of disks: 2

DVD region: 4 - Australia, NZ, Latin America


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Creative Minds is a six-part series of documentary interviews that brings the audience into intimate contact with the people who create Australian art or who contribute in a significant way to Australian cultural life. Each program explores in depth an artist’s life story and the influences that inform his or her work, using the artist’s own words, memories, and insights.

The artists featured are Bill Henson, Geoffrey Rush, Kate Grenville, Elena Kats-Chernin, Robyn Archer, and Stephen Page. The selection of subjects reflects the range of art forms that feed into our rich national cultural life. Visual artists, choreographers, actors, writers, composers, and cabaret artists make up the mix. They are in conversation with Robin Hughes, who has interviewed more than eighty prominent Australians for the SBS screened Australian Biography series.

In Creative Minds, not only do we hear and see the evolving narrative of each artist’s creative development, we are also told of their achievements, struggles, failures and disappointments and how they have responded to them. By the end of each program the audience is led to an understanding of the life experiences, values and methods that underlie the subject’s creative practice.

The format is that of the documentary interview. It is shaped to reveal the reality of each artist’s individual experience, while the interviewer remains recessive and the focus is on the interviewee. There are no reverses - the interviewer is heard but not seen, acting as the voice of the audience - and the story is illustrated by images from the artist’s life. These images are sourced from stills, archival footage and some contemporary filming.

The style is lively without sacrificing nuanced meaning to pace. Editing makes use of the intercut images while preserving the value and directness of a sensitively framed face.

This project serves an important archival service beyond the STUDIO series. The unedited rushes from the three days of interviewing are held in the national archives, to be preserved for future use by researchers, writers, historians and filmmakers. This archive provides an invaluable resource for the arts community and for the Australian public.

This revealing interview with internationally acclaimed photographic artist Bill Henson provides new insight into how he makes his beautiful images and how he deals with the controversy they sometimes attract.

Always the character actor, rarely the hero, Geoffrey Rush muses on hats, his most difficult co-star, what makes a good audience, and the unpredictability of success.

Kate Grenville discusses her life and work revealing the wellsprings of her creativity.

Elena Kats-Chernin’s creative mind offers a revealing insight into the mysterious, sometime unfathomable process of where her complex music actually comes from.

Robyn Archer talks candidly about her passion for excess, the ferocity of Kurt Weill’s lyrics, and her fascination with the divide between low and high art.

In conversation with Robin Hughes, Stephen Page, indigenous dancer, choreographer and theatrical story-teller, steps thoughtfully through his own rich life , from childhood influences and family tragedy, to his mature creative work as Artistic Director of Bangarra, Australia’s premier indigenous Dance Theatre company .

Artist: Bill Henson

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