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Fishing scene with aboriginal implements

Artist: Port Jackson Painter
Created: [between 1788 and 1797]
Dimensions: 33.8 x 21.1 cm
Reference: Watling Drawing - no. 71


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Sheet of drawings of aboriginal fishing implements arranged around a central scene of an aboriginal family fishing from a canoe. The scene is framed in tondo with a black ink border, and measures 12.6 cm. diameter. It depicts an aboriginal family (man, woman and child) paddling a canoe which contains a fish-gigg and spear, and a fire. The water is represented by a gradated wash of blue through white and pink to blue, overlaid by short, horizontal grey brush strokes. There are green islands on the horizon and patches of pink and blue wash around unpainted areas in the sky. The implements are numbered 1-4 and the related descriptions are written in black ink in a margin at the bottom of the sheet. On either side of the tondo are two spears (numbered 3 and 4), both with shafts of pale yellow shaded with grey and divided into three sections by black binding. The spear on the left ends in four prongs of slightly darker colour and pointed tips, pointing upwards, while the one on the right ends in a single barbed point, pointing downwards. At top is a pale brown sword (number 1) with a darker pattern on the handle and round the edges, and at bottom a basket (number 2) with gathered ends and containing a fishing line with a hook made from shell. The drawing is framed by a triple-banded ink border, with the central band coloured with a faint yellow-ochre wash.


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