Mustering Camp in the Diamantina River Channels (1961) – SOLD

Available at: SOLD

Detail photos for this Artwork

Painted when he was living on the property “Holdfast” in Kogan, Queensland is this fascinating early Hugh Sawrey oil from 1961, “Mustering Camp in the Diamantina River Channels”, which offers wonderful detail and rich colour.

The painting shows stockman resting in their camp, boiling a Billy and taking turns to keep watch for the cattle – note the man in the tree scanning the landscape!

An aspect of the painting that is interesting, and which reflects how nature affects life on the land, is how Sawrey has shown the men camped inside a river channel – dry and sheltered when not in flood, with a little pool of water left to water the horses. This is something that Sawrey would have experienced himself when he was droving in the Diamantina area; and for me the dry river bed is so reminiscent of these iconic lines of poetry from  Dorothea’s MacKellar’s important poem about Australia, “My Country”:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

Oil on Board
56 x 75 cm
72.5 x 90 cm
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