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Australian Culture

  • Date Submitted: 04/20/2010 04:41 AM
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Australian Culture:
Since 1788, the primary basis of Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic Western culture. Distinctive Australian cultural features have also arisen from the country’s natural environment and indigenous cultures. Since the middle of the 20th century, Australian culture has been strongly influenced by American popular culture, particularly through television and cinema. Other influences are from neighboring Asian countries, and through large-scale immigration from non-English speaking countries.

Australian Visual Arts
Australian visual arts are thought to have begun with the cave and bark paintings of its indigenous people. The traditions of indigenous Australians are largely transmitted orally and the telling of the stories of the Dreamtime. From the time of European settlement, a theme in Australian art has been the Australian landscape, seen for example in the works of Albert Namatjira, Arthur Streeton and others associated with the Heidelberg School, and Arthur Boyd. The country’s landscape remains sources of inspiration for Australian artists; it has been depicted in acclaimed works by artists such as Sidney Nolan, Grace Cossington Smith, Fred Williams, Sydney Long, and Clifton Pugh. Australian artists influenced by the modern American and European art include cubist Grace Crowley, surrealist James Gleeson, abstract expressionist Brett Whitely, and pop artist Martin Sharp. The National Gallery of Australia and the various state galleries maintain Australian and overseas collections, from early in the 20th century until the present.
There is a symphony orchestra in each of the states’ capital cities, and a national opera company, Opera Australia, which became prominent through the singer Joan Sutherland. Nellie Melba was her famous predecessor. Ballet and dance are represented by The National Ballet and various state dance companies. Each state has a publicly funded theatre company.

Australian Cinema Industry
The Australian cinema...


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