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IMAGE CAPTION: Behind the scenes of the feature documentary “Whiteley.” Photograph by David Dare Parker

WHITELEY a new documentary that follows the life of one of Australia’s greatest contemporary artists, Brett Whiteley, opens in cinemas nationally on Thursday, 11 May.

Produced by Sue Clothier, Northern Pictures, co-written and directed by Western Australian James Bogle, and co-written by WA’s Victor Gentile, WHITELEY was produced with support from Screenwest and Lotterywest.

Using archival footage, audio recordings, letters and notebooks, WHITELEY tells the story of an artist that changed the Australian artistic landscape in his own words.

“It was my intention with this film ‐ my mission if you like ‐ to collect, collate, and create an intensely interpretive, penetrating and emotional experience of Whiteley’s life,” said Bogle.

“Every piece of the dialogue in the film is authentic, either captured on the archival footage our researchers discovered in all kinds of places, or recreated from notebooks and interviews by our actors who play Brett and Wendy with such perception.”

Clothier said it was time to look again at the life and legacy of one of the most culturally significant Australian artists of the late 20th century.

“Brett was a larger than life character and taking a traditional biopic documentary approach didn’t feel right. Brett’s major works like Alchemy and American Dream needed a bigger screen,” she said.

“The resulting story transcends anything an audience will have seen before about Brett Whiteley, his life, his love and his art.”

Screening in Perth at Luna Leederville