ACMI presents Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose

From 21 June to 18 September, ACMI will be holding an exhibition titled Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose. The free exhibition allows you to wander through Oscar Wilde’s world as it has been re-created by Del Kathryn Barton and Brendan Fletcher.

The Nightingale and The Rose [image source: ACMI], crowdink, crowd ink,,
The Nightingale and The Rose [image source: ACMI]

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is a unique institution dedicated to promoting engagement with the moving image in all of its forms. The ACMI building is (rather appropriately) located right in the heart of Melbourne – in Federation Square just across from Flinder’s Street Railway Station.

21 June – 11 September 2016: DO NOT MISS THIS FREE EXHIBITION

Celebrating the extraordinary collaboration between two-time Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton and acclaimed filmmaker Brendan Fletcher, ACMI presents new exhibition Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose, tracing the remarkable adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 19th century classic into a hauntingly beautiful animated film.

From 21 June, this free exhibition will transform ACMI’s Gallery 2 space into an immersive and intricate Barton-inspired world: colourful, bold, enchanting, brooding, and revealing. Barton’s paintings will be displayed alongside the film for the first time.

The film itself is a landmark in contemporary moving image, voiced by some of Australia’s most celebrated actors, including Mia Wasikowska, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush, and layered with stirring score by Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko.

Audiences can view the 14-minute animation in the depths of the exhibition space, and then make their way through a lush display of objects that explore the incredible workings behind the production, spanning classic text to canvas, sculpture to screen. This will include items such as Barton’s artwork, a selection of stunning and never-before-seen handmade props, material from the animation archives, and a rare 1913 edition of Wilde’s anthology.

“When I first discovered Oscar Wilde’s radical fairy story ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ as a teenager, it seemed to me that the character of the Nightingale breathed with the energy of a true artist,” said Barton.

“Nightingale gives completely of her deepest essence in her life choices. She is a little hero of mine. From the making of my paintings and drawings for the book project, to a three year (and often agonising) marathon making the animation, the ‘Nightingale’ experience has been an extraordinary and multifaceted creative journey. 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!”

“I was deeply inspired by Del’s heartfelt passion for The Nightingale story and her wildly original artistic vision, but I’d also felt for a long time that her work had an unexplored cinematic quality to it,” said Fletcher.

“I love working with people working outside the film industry, as while these collaborations can be challenging (this particular development process took a very long time!) they are very rewarding and lead to films that are fresh and a little bit unpredictable.”

After Fletcher and Barton had worked together on the film for a year, they recruited the expertise of award-winning visual effects and post-production house Method Studios in a collaboration that would take an additional two years. The final creation is an intense, but remarkably ethereal and visceral gesture to the tragic beauty and earnestness of Wilde’s tale.

Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose is ACMI’s Gallery 2 winter exhibition, opening Tuesday 21 June until Sunday 11 September 2016. Entry is free. For more information: