The documentary films made by Catherine Hunter are characterised by a respect for and love of the process of making art and a belief that art and artists are not somehow apart from the world. On the contrary, artists are deeply and crucially engaged in shaping our sense of place, identity and of what it is to be human.

Catherine Hunter has worked in the arts as a writer, producer and director for over thirty years. After two decades of documenting the full range of the arts with the Nine network's acclaimed "Sunday" program, she left to work as a freelance documentary maker in collaboration with a small group of like-minded professionals. Her passions are for the arts and architecture. Film projects have included painters Sidney Nolan, Margaret Olley, Wendy Sharpe, Jenny Sages, Roger Law (the co-creator of the UK's Spitting Image), Anselm Kiefer, William Robinson, Jeffrey Smart and photographers Trent Parke and Jeff Carter. Almost all films have been broadcast nationally on ABC1.

ATOM study guides for selected films are available as teacher resources at



Photograph / Glenn Murcutt on mosque roof © Jesse Marlow, Fairfax Syndication

" A beguiling and beautifully balanced biographical film..." Graeme Blundell, The Australian

Premiering on the ABC, Glenn Murcutt – Spirit of Place explores the life and work of Australia’s most famous living architect. Murcutt’s extraordinary international reputation rests on the beauty and integrity of his buildings. With a swag of international awards (including the prestigious Pritzker Prize) Murcutt has literally put Australian architecture on the world map. Murcutt’s focus has been the creation of energy-efficient masterpieces perfectly suited to their environment and his breakthrough designs have influenced architects around the world.

Yet he’s an enigma.

By choice, he has never built outside his own country. Murcutt believes one must understand a place intimately before good design is possible. He has no staff, no computer and no email. He insists good design comes from the hand, not the computer.

In the words of the Pritzker jury: “In an age obsessed with celebrity, the glitz of our ‘starchitects’, backed by large staffs and copious public relations support, dominates the headlines. As a total contrast, Murcutt works in a one-person office on the other side of the world ... yet has a waiting list of clients, so intent is he to give each project his personal best. He is an innovative architectural technician who is capable of turning his sensitivity to the environment and to locality into forthright, totally honest, non-showy works of art.”

Murcutt has long eschewed publicity and has preferred to let his work speak for itself. But over the past few years he has allowed documentary filmmaker Catherine Hunter to follow him as he embarked on his most challenging project to date – a mosque for the Newport Islamic community in Melbourne.



Marie Short House / Kempsey © Bruce Inglis


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