The Land occupies a distinctive time and place in the cultural experience of Australians, indigenous and non-indigenous

Essay by julie87High School, 12th grade July 2004

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The Land occupies a distinctive time and place in the cultural experience of Australians, indigenous and non-indigenous.

"The Land" takes up a distinguishing place in the cultural knowledge of both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. We see this through the works of many Australian artists. Indigenous Australian artists represent their cultural knowledge of the land through a contextual range of forms and styles which contrast from the ways in which it is represented by non-indigenous Australian artists. There are many artists who express this differing concept in their artworks, but four of the most prominent are, Frederick McCubbin with "Lost", Albert Namatjira with "Palm Valley," Sidney Nolan with "Kelly at the Mine" and Trevor Nickolls with "From Dreamtime to machine time."

One artist who chose to reflect emotional aspects relating to the interaction of human beings with the Australian landscape was Frederick McCubbin. McCubbin, was a non-indigenous artist/impressionist who was born in West Melbourne 1855.

His paintings were generally conscious and proudly nationalistic. Being nostalgic depictions of Australian bush scenery, McCubbin was most concerned with depicting realistically the inner beauties of his "land," the bush.

In1886, McCubbin painted "Lost," his first large-scale narrative work combining the theme of anxiety and sadness with an interest in plein air landscape. McCubbin's first study of "Lost" is thought to have been inspired by Clara Crosbie, a 12 year old who was found alive after 3 weeks lost in the bush near Lilydale, Victoria in 1886. Becoming lost was one of the great dangers facing Australian children in pioneering days and was not uncommon. In his painting, McCubbin contrasts the image of a lone child against the enticing, but seemingly dangerous, beauty of the Australian bush. The work is strongly narrative in style, with all the elements focused around this theme. Our sympathy goes...