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Reproduced courtesy of Peter Hudson

Cook and Banks (text)

Date: 2012
Display dimensions: 1010 × 940 × 50 mm
Medium: Mixed media on board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Peter Hudson
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00054555

User Terms

    A painted panel, one part of a diptych, by Peter Hudson titled 'Cook and Banks'.

    This piece of the work, featuring an extract from Cook's journal, highlights how Cook shifted in his understanding of Indigenous Australians and how unwittingly fortunate the Europeans were in bringing the ENDEAVOUR into neutral territory at Gungardie for repairs.

    The multi coloured text is by Peter Hudson and then an extract from Cook's own account:

    "... On the 24th. June 1770, after running onto the reef, the badly damaged ENDEAVOUR limped into Wahalumbaal (Endeavour River). Cook and Banks could not have known the section of river bank. They chose to careen the ship for repairs was known as Gungardie. In Aboriginal law this place was neutral ground. Here the local Guugu Yimithirr and neighbouring tribes gathered peacefully. Here they collected quartz crystal used for ceremony. There was to be no blood shed at this place... the fate of the ship and her crew, and indeed history, could have been very different had providence not guided the ENDEAVOUR to Gungardie. Here the pale strangers saw a kangaroo for the first time..."- Peter Hudson October 2011 "From what I have said not the Natives of New Holland they may appear to some to be the most wretched People upon Earth; but in reality they are for more happier than we Europeans, being wholy [sic] unacquainted not only with the Superfluous, but with the necessary Conveniences so much sought after in Europe; they are happy in not knowing the use of them. They live in a Tranquillity which is not disturbed by the Inequality of Condition... The earth and Sea of their own accord furnishes them with all thing necessary for Life.They covet not magnificent Houses, Household-stuff, etc." - Lt. James cook, August 1770.

    SignificanceThis painting by Peter Hudson tells part of the story of first contact and European occupation of Australia.
    HistoryThis work by Peter Hudson 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.
    Peter Hudson was the initiator of the East Coast Encounter concept and was a passionate advocate for the project.

    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.

    Cook and the ENDEAVOUR crew would spend nearly 7 weeks at Gungardie on what Cook named Endeavour River.
    While repairing the damage to the hull, members of the crew, led by Banks, spent time investigating the surrounding area. Significantly it was here that Cook and his colleagues met and engaged with the local Indigenous people, the Guugu Yimithirr. Cook gained a small insight into their life which led to the shifting of his initial perceptions.
    It was here that some Guugu Yimithirr words were recorded, including 'gangurru', which later became 'kangaroo'.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Assigned title: Cook and Banks (text)

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