Q&A with Robert Sherwood

Q&A with Robert Sherwood

Award-winning cinematographer Robert Sherwood has screened at festivals around the world, receiving Gold for his passion film ‘Black Moon’ at The Australian Cinematography Society Awards, NSW and Gold for Community Music Video ‘Mayali’ at The National Indigenous Music Awards, 2021.

Rob enjoys the perspective that comes from being an observer, and for him, observation without judgement is a true feeling. This is what he aims to convey through his visuals – a feeling of truth.

Your portfolio of work is largely focused on First Nations projects and specifically cultural preservation. What has led you to follow this direction within your practice? 
From a young age I always felt that filmmaking would lead me in a direction to produce work of importance beyond my own expectation. Since I can remember I’ve always had a fascination with my own states of mental health and sought to create balance. I wanted to pursue projects that could reach an audience with heartfelt meaning through story and emotive visual expression. It made sense to put energy into the importance of First Nations People and utilise filmmaking as a tool to share messages through culture and connection as a way of healing.

What is one of your most memorable moments from working so closely with First Nations communities across Australia?
Returning from projects it can be difficult to find words that express the experience. I am left feeling part of something greater and to be able to express some of these moments through filmmaking leaves me feeling aligned and on a path of truth. I suppose it feels like a calling to support First Nations people to express their stories and share such profound depth with the Australian psyche.

What projects are ahead for you in 2022? 
Currently in planning for a 3 month trip living and working in Arnhem Land with close friend Natalie Carey from Sun People Creative, collaborating with Indigenous organisation Mimal Land Management. We will work side by side with the Bulman community to co-create films around ceremony, land care management, language, dance and song for archival and to support a process of preserving knowledge for future generations. This work continues on from last year working with the Bulman Community where we co-created a series of culturally rich films on ‘healthy country burning’ through the lens of traditional and contemporary First Nation knowledge.

See more from Robert Sherwood. 

Images | Robert Sherwood filming ‘Mayali’ music video. Image by Desert Pea Media