Search the Collection
Advanced Search
Image Not Available

Kuboga of Bukulan Islet

Date: 1959
Overall: 403 x 363 x 18 mm, 1 kg
Medium: Watercolour on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00027076
Place Manufactured:Laughlan Islands

User Terms

    This is a watercolour portrait of Kuboga from the Indigenous community on Bukulan Islet off Laughlan Island in Papua New Guinea.
    SignificanceThis painting is representative of the work by prolific amateur painter Brett Hilder, a seaman with Burns Philp and Company. His work offers a valuable and comprehensive record of the experiences of mariners working on commercial vessels between Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Melanesia from the 1930s through to the 1960s.
    HistoryBrett Hilder born in 1911 was the youngest son of renowned watercolourist Jesse Jewhurst Hilder. In 1927 he became a crewmember for ships owned by Burns Philp & Co. He traveled extensively to the Dutch East Indies and South Pacific Islands, and eventually became a ship's master. During WWII he taught navigation to Australian air crew and attained the rank of Wing Commander. He flew on Catalina flying boats for the Royal Australian Air Force. After the war Hilder resumed his career as a merchant sea-captain.

    During the war Hilder started painting watercolours depicting landscapes, details and portraits of the people and places he visited. He also wrote extensively about navigation and his travels for magazines such as 'Walkabout'. Hilder is the author of numerous books on his own experiences and in 1966 published 'The Heritage of JJ Hilder' a book about his father's art career. This accompanied a national touring exhibition of his father's work organised by the Queensland Art Gallery. Brett Hilder passed away in April 1981.

    Hilder started painting portraits in Malaya in 1946. In 'Navigators of the Sea' he wrote that the natives of the East were 'very colourful', their 'racial characteristics' catching his interest. The many portraits he completed mounted to a catalogue of faces of the western Pacific. Hilder held an exhibition of his portraits in Sydney in 1950 and later exhibited works in Melbourne, Port Moresby, Honiara and New York.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Kuboga of Bukulan Islet

    Web title: Watercolour of Kuboga from Bukulan Islet, Papua New Guinea

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.