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Reproduced courtesy of Reg Mombassa

Close Encounters of the First Kind

Date: 2013
Dimensions:
Display dimensions: 630 × 760 × 40 mm
Overall: 630 × 768 × 38 mm
Medium: Charcoal and coloured pencil on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Reg Mombassa
Classification:Art
Object Name: Drawing
Object No: 00054584

User Terms

    Description
    A drawing by Reg Mombassa (Chris O'Doherty) titled 'Close Encounters of the First Kind'.
    This work depicts a giant eye, like a spaceship, weighed done by buildings, pollution, factories, chains, skulls and electricity towers, all floating in the air over a beach where a group of Indigenous Australians are looking at it.

    Through this work, Mombassa provides an allegorical account of the first Botany Bay encounter, likening the overwhelming strangeness of the HMB ENDEAVOUR's arrival to the appearance of a battered alien spacecraft hovering ominously over a group of startled Indigenous warriors.
    SignificanceThis painting by Reg Mombassa 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"Reg Mombassa provides an allegorical account of the Kamay/Botany Bay encounter. He compares the overwhelming strangeness of the ENDEAVOUR's arrival to the appearance of a battered alien spacecraft hovering ominously over a group of startled Aboriginal warriors. The massive vessel – half machine and half human with its huge staring eye – comes burdened with the weight of ‘civilisation’. With its scowling skulls, crowded houses and factories, tangled telegraph wires and architectural icons of Sydney we are presented with a vision of what will follow. "
    - East Coast Encounters

    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.


    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Close Encounters of the First Kind

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

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