This is an archived website that was produced by Screen Australia Digital Learning. See all Digital Learning websites.
Elizabeth Durack
Biographical Information
home search help
Elizabeth Durack photo
Artist, Born 1915, Perth WA, Died 2000

In 1997 the art world was shocked by the announcement from Western Australian artist Elizabeth Durack, that she and Aboriginal artist, Eddie Burrup, whose work had recently begun to appear in art galleries and exhibitions of Aboriginal art, were one and the same person. How could a woman in her eighties, stereotyped as 'a relic of old colonialism', have the audacity to appropriate Aboriginal culture in such a way?

In this fascinating interview, Elizabeth Durack talks of a life of reconciliation: of her family with Aboriginal families growing up in the Kimberley region, of a tragic past with a more hopeful future, of her dual roles as single mother and professional artist in the mid 20th century, and ultimately of her two personas, Elizabeth and Eddie.

Durack's astonishing life forces us to question not only the nature of Aboriginality, but also of identity itself.

full interview
brief biography
study guide
TV script
buy the tape
Copyright & Legal
Australian Biography