Synopsis: The people of Bourke Shire are more resilient than the rest of us. After the Europeans arrived in Australia, Aboriginal people in Bourke were taken away, and others were brought to live in the missions. Today there are more than 20 tribes and clans represented in the region, so identity is a problem for a lot of Aboriginal people. Is this my place? Or is this your place? Lifeblood is a film about the intersection of place, history, and our identity.
Aunty Dot Martin
Lifeblood was written in collaboration with Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Dot Martin, Phil Sullivan, and was produced between late 2018 and early 2021. The film is narrated by Aboriginal writer, performer and academic, Nardi Simpson.
Our film is inspired by the work of artist Peter Laverty, who was director of the Art Gallery of NSW for most of the 1970s, as well as a career artist, and also the haunting paintings of American artist, Andrew Wyeth, and of course, Russell Drysdale and John Brack.
It is important to recognise that the film is an attempt to recreate the extraordinary beauty of the place, the delicate balance in the ecosystems that exist out there, the alarming changes that are happening in our climate, and the history of Aboriginal Australians in the region, and all over Australia, and the world. Importantly, the film is about beauty and a sense of place, a celebration of these ideas – what is it like to be here and understand this place fully, but also one of the film’s most important themes is White Australians’ disconnection with Culture, and the environment – White apathy.
Although we co-wrote with Aboriginal people, the perspective of the film is a White perspective, looking in. Are white people tourists in their own country? Our film takes the viewer on a road trip through these places, we are showing you why this place is special.
We have tried to make a film that stands alone with a unique style which is uncompromising Australian, superbly detailed, with a universal message about humanity and the way we think about place and the environment.
Nicholas Tory is an award-winning artist, artistic director, designer and project director.
A graduate of Sydney College of the Arts’ Electronic and Temporal Arts studio, Nicholas collaborates with artists, technicians, engineers, animators and designers, to develop a multi-disciplinary practise producing a range of site specific collaborative art projects including sculptures, installation, light-based art, and animated films.
Nick has spent the past 20 years working with artistic production teams on a wide range of world class projects. Over the past 10 years, Nick’s art practice has developed with a key focus on creating work that combines traditional artistic methods with new and old technology, to create relatable Public artwork.
Nick’s work is a response to living in our world – seeking to explore themes around the experiences of living in urban environments, and a desire to be closer to nature, the fragility and complexity of all life on our planet, human mythologies, and the roles that technology plays in our lives and in our world.
Through collaboration, Nick’s work utilizes light, spatial and object design, electronic engineering, interactive design, sound, projection, animation, film making and traditional techniques like drawing and painting. Nicholas hopes to produce though-provoking work that makes our experience of the world better.