A Moving Picture

charcoal, acrylic and 22ct gold leaf on paper

1.5 x 3.2m

Commissioned by the Albury-Wodonga Regional Arts Board 1999, Collection of Indigo Shire Council

A contemporary installation comprising a panoramic narrative drawing that draws inspiration from the landscape of the border district near Albury and the life and works of two colourful cultural identities from the early days of settlement in the Indigo region.

A W Eustace, 1851 – 1907, (arrived Australia 1851)

Alfred William Eustace, was a painter, a poet, a shepherd and a taxidermist. He worked in the gold districts around Chiltern, Beechworth and Yackandandah and his painted works on gum leaves attracted great attention in his time, being purchased for the royal family and overseas notaries. His works depict the landscape and environment of the Indigo region and many works remain in both public and private collections. In his later years he became interested in spirituality, expressing his ideas in words and painting.

A B Peirce, 1840 – 1919, (arrived Aust. 1859)

‘Sketcher, photographer, entrepreneur’ Augustus Baker Peirce was a popular entertainer in the Goldfields of Victoria and the Albury district. He sketched and painted theatre sets and was hired to chart the Murray River from Albury to Goolwa in South Australia. This resulted in a work 200 metres long, wound on rollers and installed on a river boat to chart the journey as it progressed. He went on to create a panorama 65.8m long, depicting a journey around the world, from Piccadilly to the goldfields, which toured the region in 1871 entertaining the community with accompanying music and commentary. Returning to the USA in the late 1870s he went on to write his memoirs of life in Australia.

The 3 metre drawing ‘A Moving Picture’ is a parody of the river charts and rolling panorama of A B Peirce. (Peirce appears in the lower left – a ‘Self portrait as Fatima’ in the production of Bluebeard that toured the border district, the Ovens and north-east Victoria.)

Within the panoramic landscape are images from the legacy of treasures that Eustace has left for us to enjoy – oil paintings of the goldfields, painting on gum leaves and textiles, stuffed birds and animals in the local museum and snippets of his poetry.