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Centre for Art and Travel Workshop: Investigating the Archive - page 10 / 11





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gleaners and none of the male reapers had features, as demolishing his thesis.  The problem was, in comparison with G.R. Lewis's Hereford from the Haywood Lodge or de Wint's Wheatfield, both exactly contemporary, and both far more densely populated with individualized workers, it didn't.  So it could be that this factor also plays when it comes to the representation of Australia.  It does raise the important point that we learn as much about the mother country from studying the colony as the other way round.

In addition to those subjects I have touched on, we might note how the imagery of settlement and exploration, of Europeans, tents, wilderness, recurs:  in New South Wales, in Western Australia, in South Australia, to suggest, perhaps, that the colonial mindset hardened and grew consistent as the nineteenth century wore on.  This is very close to history repeating itself, as the same mistakes get made over the years.  Although here it would be remiss not to mention how, by around 1840, South Australia was provoking John Michael Skipper, in this view from Mount Lofty, or George Frederick Angas to paint watercolours extraordinary because they appeared to delight in the representation of a species of terrain alien to any European aesthetic norms.  And, resisting the temptation to take this further, it is worth noting further that Angas painted elsewhere in the Empire, notably in South Africa, to point up the necessity to think of the Australian as joining up in varieties of ways with other colonial imageries.  We saw a Russian picturing Port Jackson.  There are French images of Australia, subtly different in content from the British to take into account.  Or there is a figure such as Augustus Earle, fascinated by everything he saw, from landscapes in Australia or New Zealand, to their inhabitants, to scenes of shipboard life, to the barbarities of a slave market in Rio de Janeiro.

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