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Reproduced courtesy of Euan MacLeod


Date: 2013
Display dimensions: 1000 × 840 × 45 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas, unframed
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Euan MacLeod
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00054576

User Terms

    A painting by Euan Macleod titled 'Suitcases' featuring a man arriving on a beach carrying a suitacse in each hand with a small wooden row boat in the background.

    In this work, as part of east Coast Encounter, Euan Macleod looks at the arrival of people to foreign lands, what they bring with them and in the case of Bedanug/Possession Island, who they encounter and may displace.

    SignificanceThis painting by Euan Mcleod gives a contemporary perspective on first contact and the impact of European colonisation. The painting, as part of East Coast Encounters, is a voice in a shared story, re-imagined by Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, to encourage cultural dialogue and promote reconciliatory understanding.
    History"Downcast figures travel to the island laden with literal and metaphorical baggage...Macleod interweaves his own experience as an immigrant from New Zealand with reflections on Cook’s voyage to consider how we bring with us our own baggage, and the difficulties of adjusting to a different environment. Macleod shows us that this is a story that needs to be understood from multiple perspectives." - East Coast Encounter

    This work by Euan Macleod was produced for East Coast Encounter, a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lieutenant James Cook and his crew with Indigenous people in 1770.

    Cook's voyage along the Australian east coast has become central to national historical narratives. The East Coast Encounter project asked artists to re-envisage this seminal journey by imaginatively exploring moments of contact between two world views during these encounters. It also brought these events into the present by incorporating artists' reflections on their relevance today, and their responses to visits to significant contact locations. Topics such as encounter, impact, differing perspectives, nature and culture and views of country are investigated.

    On 22 August 1770 after making his way up the east coast of Australia from Botany Bay, James Cook landed on Possession Island in the Torres Strait.

    In his log of the event, Cook wrote:

    " this place I am confident was never seen or Visited by any European before us & notwithstanding I had in the Name of his taken possession of several places upon this Coast I now once More, hoisted English Colours & in the Name of His Maj.y King George the Third took possession of the whole Eastern coast from the above down to this place by the Name of New Wales together with all the Bays Harbours Rivers & Islands situate upon the same Coast after which we fird 3 Volleys of small Arms which was answer’d by the like number from the Ship, this done we set out for the Ship.."
    He later wrote of seeing "...upon all the Adjacent lands & Islands a great number of smokes a certain sign that they are inhabited & we have daily seen smokes on every part of the Coast we have lately been upon."

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Suitcases

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

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