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Centre for Art and Travel Workshop: Investigating the Archive - page 4 / 11





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catastrophe, as with the three watercolours commemorating the flood on the Hawkesbury in 1808, or Oliver Stanley's recording of the fate of the vessel Pelorus immediately after a Hurricane in 1839.  Sophia Campbell produces what, were we to look into it more clearly, would prove to be a highly complex encounter image probably in Port Stephens, north of Newcastle in New South Wales in the later 1810s, while Augustus Earle had a different take of the same region around 1825.  Drawings will document, as here, the development of public buildings in Moreton Bay, later Brisbane, by 1832, or the kinds of accident that befell the unwary as they traversed the Blue Mountains.  People are constantly intrigued by the flora and fauna.

As Tim McCormick demonstrated with his 1987 book, First View in Australia 1788-1825 we can witness the development and spread of Sydney in great detail over these years.  Then, as now, buildings were erected, demolished, replaced.  In Sydney in all its Glory (1817), Sophia Campbell represents the place as non-geographically specific – a comparison here would be with the print after a watercolour by the emancipist (that is, former convict) Richard Read, published in The Gentleman's Magazine in 1824 where any local topography is actually absent – but in the way of any thriving British port of the period: the prints published in Sydney by Absolom West in 1813 as Views of New South Wales reveal how omnipresent Aborigines were and how fragile was British settlement, was, to point up the deliberate selectivity of her view.  Campbell herself, the spouse of a prosperous merchant, and recently in England, may well have seen landscapes by Turner.

Because of these hidden agendas we must be cautious when prospecting these works.  Macquarie promoted exploration throughout New South Wales.  The impetus had come from the first crossing of the Blue Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, by Blaxland,

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