Search the Collection
Advanced Search
Image Not Available

Reproduced courtesy of Euan MacLeod

Possession Island

Date: 2013
Dimensions:
Display dimensions: 1200 × 840 × 45 mm
Medium: Oil on canvas, unframed
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Euan MacLeon
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00054568
Related Place:Possession Island,

User Terms

    Description
    A painting titled 'Possession Island' by Euan Macleod.
    This is one of six panels of the same name depicting different scenes of the Australian landscape related to Bedanug/Posession Island.
    This panel features a man carrying an oar walking towards the water whilst another figure looms large as he appears to stride into the painting from the left side.
    This series of panels represents Bedanug/Posession Island from different view points, both physically and emotionally. Here, the figures are white and ghost like, crossing the land and water.

    On Bedanug/Posession Island on 22 August 1770, Captain James Cook ‘hoisted the English colours’ and "took possession of the whole eastern coast" of Australia on behalf King George the Third.

    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.
    HistoryThe Kaurareg people are the traditional owners of Beganug. The island is located in the Torres Strait Islands group off the north coast Queensland and became known as Possesion Island after the landing of Captain Cook on 22 August 1770.

    Euan Macleod’s painting is a response to a trip to Bedanug/Possession Island – the site where Cook ‘took possession’ of the east coast of Australia on behalf of the British monarchy. The island is presented from different perspectives in time and space, with scenes and forms that do not fit neatly together so that we try to find resolution from the multiple points of view. Downcast figures travel to the island laden with literal and metaphorical baggage. Their ‘possession’ of the land is implied by the Union Jack painting which is subtly mirrored by diagonal lines radiating out from the work’s centre. 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.

    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.



    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Possession Island

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Related People

    Discuss this Object

    Comments

    Please log in to add a comment.