MR PATTERNS (2004) [feature]

Australia (MIFF 2004 , Australian Showcase)
Director: Catriona McKenzie

Mr Patterns Australia

Mr Patterns tells the story of Geoff Bardon, an art teacher posted to a government settlement in Australia's Western Desert in the early 1970s. In Papunya, Bardon found more than 1,000 Aboriginal people living in a state of dislocation, their culture being systematically wiped out through assimilation.

Bardon encouraged the people to paint their traditional designs using Western materials and, in defiance of white authorities, to value their work commercially as well as spiritually. He believed that by selling paintings the people could become independent of welfare, as well as deliver indigenous art to the attention of the wider community, which it did. Bardon was a catalyst for Papunya Tula art, commonly known as dot painting, which is now world renowned and which many consider it to be the greatest art movement of the 20th century. By the time Bardon left Papunya in mid-1972, the artists had formed their own company and the Western Desert art movement had begun. But for Bardon personally, things didn't fare so well'

Catriona McKenzie's use of vivid archival footage and interviews with the key players buttresses an intriguing account of an important and highly symbolic story of white'indigenous relations in Australia.

D/S Catriona McKenzie P Penny Robbins, Nic Testoni, Jo Plomley WS Film Australia TD Video/Col/2004/55mins

Catriona McKenzie's films include: Redfern Beach (2001).

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