Local Treasures – The Newcastle Narrative

Capturing Time: Panoramas of old Australia by Edwin Barnard

Day Shift – 21/08/2012 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University

University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses a number of recent publications, cyber projects and TV shows that are now starting to place Newcastle and its narrative history on the National and International stage,  with particular reference to the recent book yet to be published by the National Library of Australia entitled Capturing Time Panoramas of old Australia by Edwin Barnard.

Broadcast Notes:

In 2010 we prepared a series of Newcastle panoramas for an exhibition in the University’s Cultural Collections in honour of NSW Surveyor General Sir Thomas Mitchell (see the Mitchell 1828 Exhibition). One of these panoramas was of Newcastle circa 1825, painted of the scenes all along George Street (now the present day Watt Street) by, who we believed at the time was Sophia Campbell, and now since has been attributed to Morpeth pioneer Edward Charles Close.

The researcher who alerted us to the separate images in the sketchbook as constituting a ‘panorama’ was Mr Mark Metrikas, and after we ordered all the digital images, we digitally joined them together. The result was the following:

Edward Charles Close – [Panorama of Newcastle] c.1825
Courtesy of the National Library of Australia
Click for the larger image

The Panorama above is constituted of the following paintings in Sketchbook of scenes of Sydney, Broken Bay, Newcastle and region, New South Wales, 1817-1840, (Courtesy of the National Library of Australia) once attributed to Sophia Campbell, now Edward Charles Close, 1790-1866 (Thanks to Mark Metrikas for identifying this find)

The individual paintings that make up this Panorama from the Sketchbook are listed in order from left to right:

(1) Commandant’s house from in front of the old gaol, Newcastle, New South Wales, ca. 1828 [picture]
(2) Dwellings, fenced land and the windmill on the hill, Newcastle, New South Wales, ca. 1820 [picture]
(3) Barracks with Christ Church in the distance, Newcastle, New South Wales, ca. 1820 [picture]
(4) Dwellings and buildings in Newcastle, New South Wales, ca. 1820
(5) View over buildings towards the signal mast and Nobby Head, Newcastle, New South Wales, ca. 1820.

With collaboration from the University of Newcastle’s Coal River Working Party members Ann Hardy and Russell Rigby the panorama above is one of 23 historical panoramas published in a forthcoming book by Edwin Barnard.

Capturing Time Panoramas of old Australia by Edwin Barnard.
9780642277503, National Library of Australia, October 2012, 180pp, HB , 225x300mm
Info for ordering: http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/isbn/9780642277503.htm

Tony Robinson’s Time Walks

In addition Newcastle will feature as one of the cities in the forthcoming TV Series from Tony Robinson’s Time Walks. Newcastle will be Episode 5 and the world premiere of the series starts on the History Channel Mondays at 7.30pm from September 10 to November 12. The Newcastle Episode 5 – Approximate Air Date is Monday 8th October 2012 at 7.30pm.

We worked closely with the producers and researchers for the show providing information from our blogs, Snowball images from our Flickr site and expertise from the Coal River Working Party.

More Info:http://www.historychannel.com.au/tv-shows/show-details.aspx?id=1061

Gionni Di Gravio

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