The Corn Scuffler, Lockyer Valley, Queensland – SOLD

Available at: SOLD

Detail photos for this Artwork

As with many of Hugh Sawrey’s paintings, his work documents an era of Australia’s rural life, which is now fast disappearing.
Hugh Sawrey was born at Forest Glen near Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. His father was a teamster working in the timber industry, helping to drive the logging teams. Tragically, for Sawrey, his mother and older brother Alan, his father died when Hugh was only three years old.

The family moved to Brisbane in the early 1930’s and Sawrey left school when he was 15 to work in outback Queensland to assist his family during the hard times of the Great Depression. During this time Hugh worked in all kinds of rural station jobs, including droving and shearing, and he travelled extensively through outback Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
With the outbreak of World War II, Sawrey enlisted. After the war, Sawrey used his service pay to buy a mob of cattle which he ran on a small property on the Darling Downs with his mother, and hence began his association with the farming and grazing community in regional Queensland.

Times were tough on Sawrey’s farm, so for 20 years, he augmented his income by droving in Queensland. He began to paint small artworks around the campfire at night as well as murals in southwest Queensland pubs, which led to him eventually becoming a successful full time artist.

In this painting, “The Corn Scuffler, Lockyer Valley, Queensland”, Sawrey relives in paint the life and times of a farmer in the fertile Lockyer Valley, going about his day to day duties in the 1940’s.

The Lockyer valley is one of Australia’s most productive regions for market garden crops, with corn being one of the numerous varieties grown in the area. Corn proved to be an ideal rotation crop, able to be planted almost immediately after potatoes were harvested, and producing good yields from the leftover fertiliser from the previous potato crop.

Sawrey captures a scene that would have been very familiar to him, and in doing so, records the era when farmers used horse-drawn hoes, known as a “scufflers” or cultivators, that tilled the soil between rows and eradicate weeds. Scufflers are now regarded as vintage machinery, having been replaced by mechanised apparatus and tractors.

Despite the limited picture space, Sawrey manages to capture a great deal of detail in the scene and from a visually interesting, semi-aerial perspective. He shows the corn farmer and his horse working diligently in the corn field, with creek water for irrigation flowing by under a nearby bridge, fences defining the paddocks, the fertile green hillsides, and the homestead on the hill – a welcome sight, and a symbol of rest and comfort for a farmer after a long day’s toil in the fields.

Oil on Board (Framed)
30 x 35 cm
46.5 x 52 cm
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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