Tag Archives: State Library of Tasmania

The Max Angus 1990 exhibition

A few weeks ago I added a couple of posts to this blog about an art exhibition by the late renowned Tasmanian artist Max Angus titled Aspects of the Derwent from the source to the sea.

I did not have a copy of the exhibition catalogue and encouraged any reader who had a copy to let me know.  I imagined the publication would contain only a list of the names of each work of art and the price and not contain photographs, nevertheless I did believe reading it would be instructive. I hoped to learn the locations which Max Angus painted along the Derwent River.  Unfortunately a copy of the catalogue has not surfaced.

Since then I have been working through microfiche at the State Library of Tasmania looking at The Mercury newspaper hoping to find a review of the exhibition.  From Googling I knew the exhibition’s title and the year – 1990.  Thankfully that information limited the search.  In addition, the watercolour painting, purchased from the exhibition by my friend’s mother, was dated October 1990. Yesterday I found the gallery list in The Mercury on the 6th October 1990 providing the information that the Aspects of the Derwent from the source to the sea exhibition was already open at the Freeman Gallery and would continue until October 22nd. Since the exhibitions at that venue typically lasted 14 – 21 days, probably the show opened around the 5th October.

With continued research I was fortunate to find the exhibition review in the Saturday Weekend Arts of The Mercury newspaper for the 13 October 1990. I was particularly interested to read a few of journalist Susan Leggett’s comments:

“This very large exhibition – 64 works in all – is a powerful, careful and stunning collection.”

“Angus has read and evoked the nature of the turbulent, dynamic entity …” when referring to the Derwent River.

“He has not only painted images  of a real river travelling along its course, but created a sort of separate reality for it – an extra dimension.”

“It is all well observed and stunningly translated.”

Aspects of the Derwent Anhus article.JPG

The image included with the article is of the painting Yachts on the Harbour. The friend mentioned elsewhere in this post, is an avid sailor on the Derwent Harbour.  I wonder whether she was out there that day when Max Angus painted this picture and her yacht is in the mix.

Last but not least, since the painting belonging to my friend’s mother was painted in October 1990, then the paint was hardly dry before being taken into the Gallery for hanging.

Linden

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The name Linden is used to name streets, roads and courts in the Derwent Valley and elsewhere across Tasmania perhaps as a marker of someone with that surname who made an impact on the community in the past. But I could not find a Linden family history, or any other historical reason to justify the naming of the property I passed at approximately 5 kilometres west of New Norfolk.

Perhaps the naming was related to Linden trees native to England from where an early property owner may have travelled.  I cannot recognise this tree so I cannot say whether the trees on the property were lindens.

Alternatively, does Elena Gover’s account in Tasmania through Russian eyes (Nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) create another possibility? Was this property named after crew member Lieutenant Vilgelm Andreevich Linden of the Russian corvette Boyerin which arrived in Hobart in 1870 at a time of goodwill in terms of Australia-Russia relations? Linden wrote notes and collected extensive information about many aspects of Tasmania. ‘As well as chapters on geography, he made an analysis of the aftermath of transportation on the economic development of the island. Linden collected interesting information about the government and electoral system of Tasmania, and of the system of land allocation which allowed an influx of free settlers…

I did not walk down the driveway so I did not see existing residences at Linden. Apparently ‘Bryn Estyn’ homestead was built on the property in the 1840s, and named after the family home of new settler Lieutenant Henry Lloyd who had relocated from Wales. The State Library of Tasmania holds a photograph of the building:

Bryn Estyn

You may recall an earlier posting showed the Water Treatment Plant named ‘Bryn Estyn’. I can only assume the original land grants for Lloyd included the acres for the Treatment Plant.

A sandstone quarry on the property was the centre of attention when the building of Tasmania’s High Court in Hobart was being planned. Back in 1982, when A. A. Ashbolt owned the mineral lease, the quarry on the Linden property was surveyed to determine whether sufficient stone of ‘acceptable quality’ existed that would be suitable for cladding the new Court. Previously this stone was used on the Supreme Court of Tasmania. The stone was found to have been laid down in the Triassic period (about 3 million years ago), a time when the early dinosaurs were roaming the earth.

I suspect the property, marked with Linden at the entrance, is now known as Ashbolt Farm. The farm specialises in producing products from elderflower and olive trees and additional information is located here.  I wish I had known about this property prior to walking because I would have made arrangements to visit and enjoy a cup of hot elderberry tea.  When I passed this property last Thursday, there was no sign of life and no welcome sign posted.

Immediately past and in the vicinity of the property ‘Linden’, the racing Derwent River was visible from the road.

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