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Reproduced courtesy of Peter Hudson

Tropical Moon and Cannon

Date: 2013
Display dimensions: 780 × 540 × 30 mm
Overall: 775 × 540 × 43 mm
Medium: Watercolour on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Peter Hudson
Object Name: Drawing
Object No: 00054554
Related Place:Cooktown,

User Terms

    A watercolour by Peter Hudson titled 'Tropical Moon and Cannon' depicting a bronze coloured canon attached to its mount and falling into the sea. Above, touching the water, a full moon reflects the colours of the water.

    This work reflects upon the incident in June 1770 when HMB ENDEAVOUR ran aground on a section of the Great Barrier Reef near Cape Tribulation. In order to lighten the vessel James Cook threw overboard approximately 40 - 50 tonnes of weight, including six cannons.
    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.

    Part of story of East Coast Encounter reflected on the experiences of HMB ENDEAVOUR in the coastal conditions of Australia. In this work Peter Hudson looks at the grounding of ENDEAVOUR on the Great Barrier Reef.
    It was a dangerous predicament to be found in and James Cook named Cape Tribulation in recognition of his situation. In a desperate attempt to float the vessel free, Cook records in his journal that:

    "Six of our guns ... our iron and stone ballast, casts, hoop staves, oil jars, decayed stores, and many other things that lay in the way of heavier materials ... are thrown overboard with the utmost expedition." - 11 June 1770.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Assigned title: Tropical Moon and Cannon

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