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Book of watercolours

Date: c 1920
Dimensions:
Overall: 220 × 145 × 30 mm, 466 g
Medium: Watercolours on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dr John and Dr Marcus Hockings
Classification:Art
Object Name: Sketchbook
Object No: 00054409
Related Place:Thursday Island,

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    Description
    Pearling was one of Australia's early industries that provided a strong trade with European countries. It has a long history of events, activities, methods and equipment that were undertaken or developed in Australia. It also forged close connections with Indigenous communities, south east Asian people and the Japanese pearling communities.

    These watercolours provide a strong, personal observation of the scenes or people they depict, and have been done with a draughtmans' accuracy. They pick up both the detail and the atmosphere of the region and have been painted to a high standard. The artist, Percy Hockings came from a family directly involved in the pearling industry at the highest level.

    The watercolours help develop the story of the Torres Strait area in the 1920s, in particular aspects of the pearling industry and the natural environment, which are recorded as both an image along with accompanying notation on a number of the images.
    SignificanceThe paintings by Percy Hockings represent a very personal and accuarte observation of the scenes and objects depicted, created by a person skilled at accurate illustration and having a close connection to the region and its activities.

    Many are signed and dated by the artist Percy Frank Hockings (10.10.1867- 24.07.1950) and the collection has been retained in the family by the donor, Dr Edwin John Hockings and his brother Dr Marcus Tilbury Hockings.

    Percy Frank Hockings was a cousin of Reginald Augustus Charles Hockings (24.05.1868 - 04.06.1932) who was one of the main figures in the Thursday Island/Torres Strait pearling industry in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Percy also trained as an architect, along with his brother Edwin Morton, but rarely worked as one, and was able to spend much of his time travelling widely. The two brothers travelled the world together (Europe, the Pacific, and Thursday Island) and accumulated a wealth of drawings, oil paintings, and watercolours, of which these drawings are a small part.

    Percy is John Hockings’ great uncle. John Hockings’ grandfather Edwin Morton Hockings went on to practice as an architect and was responsible for many buildings in Rockhampton where they lived. John Hockings is also an architect.
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