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Reproduced courtesy of Peter Hudson

Grassy Hill, Cooktown

Date: 2011
Display dimensions: 480 × 550 × 60 mm
Overall: 480 × 550 × 60 mm
Medium: Oil on board, framed
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Peter Hudson
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00054548
Related Place:Cooktown,

User Terms

    A painting by Peter Hudson titled 'Grassy Hill, Cooktown'. This work catches the sense of the two world views and has an accompanying poem by Neil Murray. The painting depicts a richly textured windswept landscape with wattle dauded in the foreground and white-capped waves in the distance. It is a place where Cook stood several times to observe the weather, to seek out shoalsand gaps in the reef and to gaze outwards judging his chances of a safe departure.

    Neil Murray's verse accompanying this piece also speaks off the Aboriginal people standing on this same spot watching the HMB ENDEAVOUR limp into view.
    SignificanceThis painting by Peter Hudson is significant in providing an alternate view 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.

    "This picture was the last painting I made before leaving Cooktown. On that overcast windy day it was a real battle from start to finish. To avoid being blown off the side of the hill, I had to tie my easel and gear down to rocks and trees. A few times I felt like giving in to the relentless gusting wind. This painting was made in June, 2011. It has always been a personal favourite. I feel there is spirit and memory in the paint. Of course I didn't realise then, but I was painting at the exact time of year that Cook stood on this very same hill 241 years ago. There in the painting is the golden wattle that bloomed at this time and the wind howling over grassy hill and whipping up the sea just as Cook recorded in his journal." - Peter Husdon.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Assigned title: Grassy Hill, Cooktown

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