My landscape drawing of of hills and young Boab tree/ Typography over saying "in the shadow of Thomas Baines"
Victoria River region

Barbara and I have briefly revisited country where we worked and lived over the past four decades.

During our journey we crossed paths with places visited by the explorer, Augustus Gregory in his colonising adventures across northern Australia reminding me of his fellow traveller, the artist, Thomas Baines.

Gregory and Baines first came to our attention when Barbara was writing Black Iron, A history of Aboriginal housing in the Top End of northern Australia (National Trust NT 1992) discovering Baines detailed drawings, including ‘native’ stone structures in the Victoria River region ( drawn in 1856).

Photo of Gregory's Tree. Judbarra/Gregory National Park
Augustus Gregory’s Tree with carvings 1885.
Judbarra/Gregory National Park . Northern Territory.

I was also in the shadow of my father’s northern Australian incursions to the Daly river, the VRD in the 1940’s and Roebourne and Port Hedland in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Sketch of 3 Women and child. James V Wigley. Pencil drawing circa 1950s

A larger shadow cloaked our journey. Aboriginal presence was marked by place name or warnings of sacred sites, and community access roads trailing off to the horizon. Occasionally people sitting in the shadows.

Gregory’s tree with bush flies

Photo from escarpment Judbarra/Gregory National Park
Judbarra/Gregory National Park
Ink drawing from sketch book 2019
Sketches from the road

With Ms Fangio at the wheel, I was able to draw the landscape at speed. Challenging and fun.

In the shadow of Thomas Baines
Hearson Cove on the Burrup Peninsula, Dampier,
where Francis Thomas Gregory landed in 1861 (brother to Augustus).

This is a quick post to snare my interest and challenge myself to develop drawings and paintings derived from the journey…in the shadow of Thomas Baines and if possible revisit at a slower pace.

Experiment with ink and Japanese paper.
On the bench. WIP August 2019
Experiment with ink and Japanese paper.

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