Balnhdhurr – A Lasting Impression

BALHNDHURR INVITATION

Balnhdhurr – A Lasting Impression

Exhibition dates: 19 April – 15 July

Please join us for the exhibition opening at the University Gallery on:

Wednesday 19 April from 5.30pm

This is a free event. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome

Balnhdhurr – A Lasting Impression celebrates twenty years of onsite print production at the Yirrkala Print Space in the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, located in the remote Aboriginal community of Yirrkala in Northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The Yirrkala Print Space is unique amongst remote community art centres with twenty years of continual production of limited edition fine art prints by locally employed and trained Indigenous printmakers.

Balnhdhurr refers to marks made on the ground as a sign for people to follow – where one group goes ahead, but wants to leave a message for those behind. An impression is scratched into the ground directing the future viewer to follow the right path. In this way printmaking provides a medium for passing on knowledge to younger generations to keep culture and history and identity alive and strong, while at the same time creating a conversation between the Yolngu (Yolŋu) people of Northeast Arnhem Land and the national and international community.

The diversity of the work acknowledges Yolngu respect for clan and country, highlighting the importance of kinship with many of the prints relating to Creation stories and Law as passed on by their Ancestors. 

An Artback NT National Touring Exhibition 2017-2019 produced in association with Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre

IMAGE Gaymala Yunupingu Djirikitj, 1998, screenprint, 40 x 40 cm

Shade: Artists of the desert

 

Shade Artists of the desert

SHADE
Artists of the desert

EXHIBITION: 6 July – 6 August 2016

The University Gallery

Remote desert communities in the heart of Australia are home to some of our country’s most successful artists. Beginning in Papunya in the early 1970s with the exploratory transfer of ceremonial mark making onto board and canvas, there emerged an explosion of works made using vibrant acrylic paints, potent symbology and diversity of line and form. This unique contemporary art movement has now been active for over 40 years.

Contemporary art from these regions illuminate the unique experience of the desert: its light and shade, its contours, its gifts and adversities, its deep running songlines and sacred beauty. Artists render themes connected to place and belonging in ways that bring Country, Tjukurpa (Law), creation stories and the landscape, to life. Places of both sacred and everyday meaning are embodied in vibrant articulations that shimmer with colour and power.

Drawing on works from the University Art Collection, Shade celebrates this richness through paintings that range from across the Central and Western Deserts, to Kintore, Yuendumu and the Kimberley region. The University Gallery will, in conjunction with the artists of Warlukurlangu, have paintings for sale during the exhibition.

Please join us for the exhibition opening at the University Gallery to be launched by Una Rey:

Wednesday 6 July from 5.30pm

‘THE PAST MATTERS’ Rock Art & Indigenous Heritage Workshop

The Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative organised a one-day workshop on Friday 20th May 2016 on heritage preservation approaches with a particular focus on Rock Art and Indigenous heritage. The following provides some background in planning the day, and overview of the workshop supported by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library & the Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative.

Capture.PNG

WHY HAVE A WORKSHOP?
Cultural Collections at the UON has been collecting, archiving and sharing knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage for many decades. For 20 years Gionni di Gravio (University archivist) has supported research of Aboriginal cultural heritage and rock art in the Hunter Valley. Indigenous cultural heritage has been the concern of academics and the alumni of the university and the wider community. Addressing these concerns the Coal River Working Party (now the “Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative”) was established in 2003, with the aims to discuss and share knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage. The interest in the Aboriginal cultural heritage in the region was elevated due to events that unfolded at the KFC site in Hunter Street, Newcastle, when Aboriginal artefacts were found, at the heart of Newcastle. See HERE for further information.

The case attracted wide public attention and interest in Aboriginal heritage. It also raised issues regarding the Aboriginal Heritage Act in general and protection of discovered artefacts in particular. The organising group’s understanding was that in general, there has been very little in the way of education around Aboriginal cultural heritage. However, Amir Mogadam’s interest and specialisation in conservation, and predominantly rock art prompted the workshop. We thought would be a great opportunity to join with others (with experience in Indigenous rock art) to have a workshop specific to this area, as well as have other speakers (on other aspects of Aboriginal heritage).

We didn’t call for papers! But saw a need for a workshop. We identified presenters known to us, many of them had already presented at CRWP/HHI meetings.

WORKSHOP AIMS
– Better understand existing knowledge of Indigenous cultures
– Share knowledge about Aboriginal cultural heritage/rock art
– Bring individuals and communities together who care about Indigenous cultural heritage
– Ideas for future projects to be shared
– Opportunity to network and form collaborations
– Support Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities to build new knowledge about Indigenous culture
– Promote care of Australia’s ancient culture

PREPARATION FOR WORKSHOP
-Liaising with Aboriginal communities. Key person was Dr Greg Blyton from UON Wollotuka Institute. Invited Prof John Maynard to speak (unfortunately not available).
– Workshop promoted via email to Aboriginal groups and key representatives e.g. Guraki committee of Newcastle Council, YAPUG pathway program.
– UONCC WordPress was primarily used to promote speakers, other social media was UONCC Facebook, twitter and Lost Newcastle Facebook (over 20 000 followers).
– Handout available on the day with bio’s on each speaker and contact details.
– Morning/afternoon tea, and lunch (funded by UON Library)
– Workshop was free to attend, we wanted to attract students and others who may otherwise not have come along, due to the cost.

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE DAY
– 55-60 attendees, from government depts. e.g. Office of Environment & Heritage, Aboriginal people working in gov. depts., various Aboriginal groups and communities, UON staff/academics, students, general community members, professional architects and archaeologists.
– The MC was Dr Bernie Curran discussed the background of the workshop, and the aims
– Entire day was recorded, including question time and general discussion to be posted on UONCC WordPress.
– There was a lot of networking going on over morning/afternoon tea and lunch.

KEY DISCUSSION POINTS
– Recent perspectives in rock art management and advocacy
– Indigenous perspectives on the cultural heritage and its preservation
– The importance of the Australian rock art and its position in the global context
– Methods of rock art documentation
– Future perspective in the preservation of rock art.
– How to make Indigenous heritage meaningful and relevant (planning, all communities)
– Why it is important to care for Australia’s cultural heritage
– Global significance of Australia’s Aboriginal cultural heritage
– Can new technology (virtual & augmented reality) help raise awareness and be an educational tool in terms of Aboriginal heritage.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS
– One attendee was concerned with the lack of consultation with Aboriginal communities in terms of rock art documentation, interpretation and making publicly available.
– Attendees were very respectful of others viewpoints.
– There was plenty of time for discussion after each speaker (30 mins + 10 mins worked well)- there were no pressure to wind up sessions, and program ran to time.
– Overheard discussions during breaks about some of the difficulties and hurdles working on Aboriginal heritage projects, and the fragmentation within Aboriginal communities, the differing viewpoints in terms of Aboriginal history, ‘who owns’ – not always seen as heritage to be shared.

FEEDBACK
Feedback on the day was positive, attendees seemed to enjoy the workshop and encouraged in terms of new knowledge available.“Congratulations on planning and hosting the Rock Art symposium on Friday.  It was a great success.  We need more events like this.” – From UON academic.
“Enjoyed the two papers I was able to attend, and meeting other participants. Thanks for organising a great event.” – From UON academic. “It was a great workshop. I enjoyed the day and the company.” – Educator (via Facebook). “What a great day Bravo! We need more workshops like this saturated with significance!”- Heritage advocate (via Facebook)

WORKSHOP PROGRAM
Registration 8-00am for 8.30 start

CHAIR Dr Bernie Curran

Dr Amir Mogadam
Kulturpolitiks, the Question of Conservation
Dr. Amir Mogadam is a University of Newcastle’s conservator. Amir works on the topics of conservation, Middle Eastern Studies and history, and prior to 2008 worked on international projects in preservation of world heritage sites. His works have been presented and published in the prestigious international forums in Europe and New Zealand. Contact amir.mogadam@newcastle.edu.au

Dr Greg Blyton
Conservation from an Indigenous perspective
Dr Greg Blyton is an Indigenous senior lecturer, historian and researcher at the Wollotuka Institute, University of Newcastle, where he specialises in Aboriginal history, health and social justice. He has worked extensively throughout many parts of Australia as a registered nurse and health worker, and is a strong advocate of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Contact Greg.blyton@newcastle.edu.au

Gionni di Gravio & Dr Ann Hardy
Indigenising the City: Embodying Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom into planning frameworks to create sustainable cities of the future
Gionni Di Gravio is the archivist for the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections based in Auchmuty Library, 2016 marks 20 years as an archivist at the UON. He is the chair of Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative/Coal River Working Party and councillor of the Australian Society of Archivists. Contact Gionni.digravio@newcastle.edu.au
Dr Ann Hardy is Historian, Creative Industries & Digital Humanities Projects Co-ordinator at the UON’s Cultural Collections. She is a former social worker and has a strong commitment to historical and archival research of the Hunter region, with new digital media platforms, and the oral history tradition. Currently co-ordinates the Hunter (Living) Histories Initiative/Coal River Working Party.

Dr Jillian Huntley
Colouring colonisation – the emergence of rock art and modern human dispersal to Australia
Dr Jillian Huntley is an archaeologist who specialises in the scientific analysis of rock art and the shelter/cave environments that house it. Based in Newcastle, Jillian is engaged in ongoing multidisciplinary projects across northern Australia and Indonesia, and conducts rock art research and conservation projects along the east coast, particularly within the Sydney Basin. Her talk is based on recent research she has undertaken on the early human records of Sahul and Wallacea.

ABSTRACT: Australia is the earliest end point for modern human dispersal out of Africa more than 50 thousand years ago. Our Australasian region has been at the forefront of early finds of highly complex behaviors such as deep sea fishing and the production of figurative art 35-40 thousand years ago. Australia has a globally unique record, created exclusively by fully behaviorally modern people at the same time as the ‘symbolic revolution’ in the European Upper Paleaolithic. Australasia therefore provides a unique opportunity to test prevailing ideas about the timing and materials signature of fully modern humanity. In this presentation I will review evidence for the emergence and dispersal of rock art globally and explore the role recent discoveries in Indonesia and northern Australia as a current focus for human evolutionary research. Contact huntleyj@tpg.com.au

Dr Bernadette Drabsch
Visualising and Contextualising the rock art sites of the Hunter: Conservation through Education
Dr Bernadette Drabsch has an academic background in Ancient History, Classical Languages and Natural History Illustration and has volunteered on archaeological digs in Jordan, which lead to her PhD of the ancient wall paintings from Teleilat Ghassul, Jordan’. She currently teaches the theoretical component of the Natural History Illustration and has developed course curriculum in this area. Contact Bernadette.Drabsch@newcastle.edu.au

Emeritus Professor John Fryer
Recording Rock Art: Techniques and Experiences Locally and in UK
John Fryer is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Newcastle. He came to the UON 1974, was promoted to Professor in 1991 later became Head of School of Engineering. Since retiring 12 yrs ago, he has undertaken forensic investigations for the NSW Police Force and other law enforcement agencies using his academic speciality involving close-range photogrammetry. Contact john.fryer@newcastle.edu.au

Materials Related to Emeritus Professor Fryer’s Presentation (These materials have also been incorporated into the video of the presentation):

Powerpoint: Recording and Modeling an Aboriginal Cave Painting: With and Without Laser Scanning by John Fryer, Jim Chandler & Sabry El-Hakim (19.3MB)

Powerpoint: Recording Petroglyphs by Dr Jim Chandler, Loughborough University, UK & Professor John Fryer, University of Newcastle, Australia. (4.5MB)

The Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project by Paul Bryan, Metric Survey Team Leader & Head of the Photogrammetric Unit English Heritage, York. (13.1MB PDF)

AutoDesk 123D Catch: How accurate is it? by Jim Chandler and John Fryer (192KB PDF)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

Emu Cave (Image Courtesy of John Fryer)

 

Zebedee-CSIRO Hand Held Laser Scanner

Zebedee-CSIRO Hand Held Laser Scanner

Phone Scanner app from ETH Zurich

Well, T., Hancock, G., Fryer, J. “Using laboratory simulations and gravestone measurements to estimate rates of sandstone weathering in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.” Paper submitted to Environmental Geology, 2007.

Tim Davidson
Virtual Heritage: Experiencing the past through Virtual Reality
Timothy Davidson is Creative Director of Virtual Perspective, he has over 10 yrs experience within the 3D animation, visualisation and digital media fields and is currently exploring how virtual reality and augmented reality can be applied to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, history and cultural heritage. Contact tim@virtualperspective.com.au

BONUS Presentation – Carol Carter (with Allan Chawner) – Photographic Reflections of Aboriginal Sites across three decades

Since the workshop we were contacted by Nicholas Hall (Indigenous Rock Art Workshop Co-ordinator) from the National Museum of Australia about ways to look ahead to new possibilities for collaborative efforts from various organisations and institutions nationally. Nicholas informed that a workshop will be held at the Museum on 29 June 2016, and of a book  Rock Art: A Cultural Treasure at Risk. How we can protect the valuable and vulnerable heritage of rock art by the Getty Conservation Institute. Nicholas is contactable at  Nicholas.hall@nma.gov.au

Members of the Public are welcome to attend this free session

Contact Ann Hardy 49215824 or 0438509139 on ann.hardy@newcastle.edu.au .

For location see MAP for location of Auchmuty Library.

Kindly supported by Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle Library & the Hunter (Living) History Initiative

Other Sources

UON Indigenous Online Resource –  The Wollotuka Institute has endeavoured to provide staff, students and community with a comprehensive list of online resources to provide the user with a greater knowledge base, understanding and awareness of Indigenous cultures, lifestyles and issues.

Yengo Country:A place of cultural and spiritual awakening.  Garry Jones, 2009.

African Rock Art: research, digital outputs and heritage management conference, 4th-5th November 2016, British Museum. For further information visit website: www.africanrockartconference.com

From Earth to Spirit

From Earth to Spirit Exhibition
From Earth to Spirit

Indigenous art from Arnhem Land & the Tiwi Islands, NT

Exhibition at the University Gallery 17 February – 26 March 2016

This exhibition features works in the University Art and Museum Collections by Australian Indigenous artists from Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, both situated in Australia’s Northern Territory. While culturally and linguistically distinct, the practices of mark making, painting and carving – with their roots in storytelling and ceremony – are deeply imbedded within Tiwi and Arnhem Land cultural and spiritual traditions.

These artists have long been making artworks from natural ochres, using imagery that expresses their profound knowledge of and connection to Country, its creation stories and its ceremonies. Earth and spirit come together in almost every aspect of Indigenous life – universal law, ceremony, sacred sites, and in the artworks that become infused with ancestral power through their making.

From Earth to Spirit presents a range of art works in various mediums including bark paintings, ochres on canvas, works on paper, prints and carvings, from the University Art Collection and Senta Taft-Hendry Museum. This includes paintings recently donated by Dr Milton Roxanas, through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, and further works loaned by friends of the University Gallery: Aboriginal & Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney and private collector, Catherine (Kate) Croll.

Curated by Naomi Stewart.

Please join us for the exhibition opening at the University Gallery:
Friday 19 MARCH at 5:30pm with a welcome by Dr Ray Kelly.

Mulubinba: Place of Sea Ferns

E-invitation

MULUBINBA
Place of Sea Ferns

Exhibition

6 – 30 May 2015

The University Gallery

This exhibition explores the history of the Aboriginal people of the Newcastle area and will trace their stories, culture and their intrinsic relationship with the land. Significant sites, traditional practices and the sharing of stories, will be brought into focus as we celebrate the University and its community in 2015, and acknowledge the custodians of the land.

Original artifacts, flora and fauna will accompany early images by European artists, and will set the scene as the exhibition follows the history and development of Newcastle from an Aboriginal perspective. Photographs will also mark the ever-changing contemporary landscapes within the community.

Curated by Mandy Kelly and Gillean Shaw. Presented in association with The Wollotuka Institute: a leader in Indigenous education at the University of Newcastle.

The exhibition will also include the launch of Professor John Maynard’s new book, Callaghan, the University of Newcastle, Whose Traditional Land?.

In his book Maynard studies the history of the Pambalong clan of the Awabakal people and their relationship to the present site of the University of Newcastle: Callaghan.

Exploring Pambalong lifestyle and culture, as well as differences between Aboriginal and Western understandings of land tenure, Maynard reveals both their struggles in the wake of settlement and their ultimate survival.

Copies of John Maynard’s 2014 publication,True Light and Shade: An Aboriginal Perspective of Joseph Lycett’s Art, published by the National Library of Australia, will also be available for purchase during the exhibition

Please join us for the opening and book launch at the University Gallery:
Wednesday 6 May from 6 – 8pm
with a welcome performance by Ray Kelly Jnr.

 

 

Novocastria – NovoTalk No. 1 Travels across deep time

novotalk1

The first of four Novo Talks will commence this Tuesday night 3rd June 2014 at the Newcastle Art Gallery with University Archivist and Chair of the University’s Coal River Working Party Gionni Di Gravio.

The talk will survey the artistic works currently on display as part of the Novocastria exhibition with particular reference to current historical research and is entitled “Travels across deep time in the once and future kingdom of

More info is here: http://www.nag.org.au/exhibitions/present/artist/novocastria

NOVO TALKS
A four-part series of exhibition insights
Tuesday 3, 10, 17 and 24 June 2014
6.00pm – 7.30pm
$15 per talk, $50 for the series
Includes refreshments
Bookings and payments required
Call 02 4974 5100

3 June 2014
Chair of the Coal River Working Party, Gionni Di Gravio, speaks about Newcastle’s colonial history

10 June 2014
Local artist Kerrie Coles speaks about the influence of Newcastle’s coal industry on her work

17 June 2014
Local artist Liam Power speaks of his interest in Newcastle’s working harbour

24 June 2014
Local artist Michael Bell speaks about his work and life living in coastal Newcastle.

Local Treasures: The George Freeman Album

Front cover of George Freeman Album "Scraps"

Front cover of George Freeman Album “Scraps”

Day Shift – 18/03/2014 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewees: Mr Andrew Dodd and Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, University of Newcastle (Australia)

Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist of the University of Newcastle introduces Mr Andrew Dodd, great grand son of photographer George Freeman. Andrew kindly provided an album of photographs held by the family to the University of Newcastle (Australia) so that selected images could be digitised. A number of these images are highly significant photographs of the town of Newcastle and surrounding coastal areas, and were taken around 1884, as he was certainly there photographing the wreck of the Susan Gilmore which occurred in July 1884.  It is reasonable to assume that while here he also photographed the city and surrounding areas, as The Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate reported on the 19th July 1884 (Ref:http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135857993 ) that “Mr. Freeman, photographer, has shown us some excellent picturesque views of the marine scenery around Newcastle. They are well taken, and the photographs would adorn any album.”

Broadcast Notes:

The following information regarding George Freeman was prepared by Pamela Goodhart Dodd and Andrew Dodd from copies of original documents, photographs and newspaper cuttings held by the family. The accompanying images were digitised by Gionni Di Gravio. Clicking on the images below will take you to the high resolution images that are in the 2-6MB size range for closer examination.

The album contains around 66 photographs, along with a number of inserts, which are images, a letter, printed documents and posters. The album is in poor condition due to the acidic and brittle quality of the paper. We photographed the entire album for contextual purposes, and digitised the Newcastle related images in high resolution on an Epson Perfection V700 Scanner at the highest resolutions possible. Since the album was on loan, we did not digitise all the images in high resolution due to the time constraints and post processing.

To provide context for the images below, the whole album is available to be viewed as a PDF here: The George Freeman Album (25MB PDF File)

On behalf of the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections we wish to thank Andrew Dodd, Pamela Goodhart Dodd and family for allowing us to share this family treasure with the wider research community, and warmly welcome any feedback or information relating to any of the images or the photographer who captured them, George John Freeman.

GEORGE JOHN FREEMAN
b: 17 January 1843   d: 5 April 1895

Only known photograph of George Freeman (Courtesy of Pamela Goodhart Dodd)

Only known photograph of George Freeman (Courtesy of Pamela Goodhart Dodd)

A BRIEF HISTORY – Developing Australia

George was London born, raised, and well educated at the Bayswater Grammar, and in a letter he wrote to his father in 1857 he thanked him for buying  ‘ a set of apparatus for photography ‘. – this was his start to the interesting life that was in store for him choosing photography as a profession when he arrived in Australia.

George John Freeman arrived in Adelaide on the ship ‘Countess of Fife’, with his father George Freeman and step mother, leaving London on September 28, 1860. They arrived in the port of Adelaide, January 4th 1861. George  was 19 years of age, his diary of the voyage records, weather, land sightings, ports and events ,even when there were none to mention, the people he spoke with and ‘printed some photography’ to pass the time, then the excitement of sighting Kangaroo Island off the coast  of South Australia and the long awaited docking in Port Adelaide.

Street scene of King William Street Adelaide late 1870s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Street scene of King William Street Adelaide circa 1870s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

He established a studio soon after arriving, renting properties in various locations and ran his studio from Rundle & Hindley Street premises.  George traveled the state photographing the growing townships and was fast becoming a photographer of some note and a character, traveling to Heathcote, Victoria, the Gold Fields in 1865,  in a guise of ‘a man in tatterd rags’ he sent photos home to England to an uncle for a monetary hand. In Melbourne and took photographs of the public gardens and buildings, is no know when he started using the name of the Melbourne Photographic Company – Wivell and Johnstone worked with him.

He was the sole agent for the Art Union of Victoria, exhibited paintings of Johnstone’s at the co-gallery. In the 1870s George was the leading fine  art entrepreneur. In 1873 he presented ‘dissolving views of oxhydrogen light’ – showing morally uplifting scenes from the ‘ Illustrated life of Christ, The bottle and the Drunkards children and the Pilgrims Progress’.  Newspapers reported – ‘Innovative and up to-date photography’, the press reported every novelty- ‘like   the Athenians of old, he is always looking for something new’. He experimented with luminous paint to make photos glow in the dark, glass transparencies, coloured sunsets and moonrise with ‘green moon tint observable in the moons rays’  – In 1874  recently dry plates assisted by flash powder, to make ‘instantaneous action photographs’.  Around this time he debunked  the new craze of spirit photographs demonstrating how they could be faked by partially exposing a plate to form light patches – ‘spirits’.

In 1874 presented an exhibition of British and Colonial paintings and photographs in Adelaide Town Hall. He also opened a picture gallery and ‘encouraged colonial artists to send their productions for exhibition.’ In 1875 he was commissioned to take Adelaide views, a panorama 11 feet long, form the top of the Advertiser Building, and one from Montifore Hill 6 feet long , for the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, USA, in 1876. George married Mary Sarah Goodhart in 1876, an Artist, they lived at the Hindley Street premises.

In 1877 he used the new  22×18 inch camera to take views that won him a bronze medal at The Paris Expo Universelle International, France, 1878, for his views -11′ x8′- of Adelaide from Montifore Hill, Adelaide Oval and Public Buildings. In 1879 his views of  Victor Harbour, Goolwa, Mount Gambier gained a third prize in the Sydney International 1880 ?, and for views of Adelaide again in the Melbourne International Exhibiton 1880 -‘ well calculated to give clear conception of our progress in architecture and the character of some of our scenery’.  His local work of portraits of the Governors of the State and family were highly acclaimed, also photographs of the opening of the Art Gallery with HRH Prince Albert and other noted persons. George was also the ‘first bearer of the Grand sword of the Order of the Grand Lodge of Ancient and Free and Accepted Masons of South Australia in 1884’.

Two unidentified Aboriginal Children (Photograph by George Freeman)

Two unidentified Aboriginal Children (Photograph by George Freeman)

Unidentified Aboriginal Child (Photograph by George Freeman)

Unidentified Aboriginal Child (Photograph by George Freeman)

Unidentified Aboriginal Children (Photograph by George Freeman)

Unidentified Aboriginal Children (Photograph by George Freeman)

He was not only a photographer but a ‘showman, entrepreneur’, he organised Art Unions with prize money both in South Australia and Melbourne, sold views of prominent buildings and sent to London as promotion of Adelaide, he also worked with Belcher in Adelaide. He produced the first double photo portraits known to be taken in the colony – ‘two portraits of a gentleman sitting and standing – ‘Ingenious’ – the South Australian Advertiser, and to top that he did a triple headed portrait of the Emperor of Prussia, the late French Emperor and Prince Bismark all in one bust ‘- dubbed the three headed monster by the press.

Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Sydney circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Sydney circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

On the 26th February 1879 a devastating fire destroyed his premises in Hindley Street, they were then living in North Adelaide and was alerted by his apprentice, much of his work and photographic plates  and negatives were destroyed. In 1880 he patented an application for an ‘automatic fast holding door handle ‘, photographed shipwrecks , the Sorata at Cape Jervios , 7th September 1880.  In 1884, styling himself under the name of The Melbourne Photographic Company, his high profile in the South Australian press, George Freeman and Sarah decided to move to Sydney and worked in Newcastle. He possibly lived in Paramatta, Reynolds Street, Balmain, and in Newcastle.  ‘George Freeman  would set up business,  as soon as he finds suitable premises,’ July 10, 1884 –  reported by the Newcastle Register.

Two vessels in unidentified location (Sydney?) (Photograph by George Freeman)

Two vessels in unidentified location (Sydney?) (Photograph by George Freeman)

Photographing another shipwreck the Susan Gilmore, 3/7/1884, his work was noted – ‘the rocks and headlands are shown in the photograph and therefore accurate’ – The Newcastle Morning Herald- his photos were used for auction of the wreck.

Unattributed photograph of the Wreck of the Susan Gilmore (Slide C917-0504 in the John Turner Collection University of Newcastle) Could this be Freeman's image?

Unattributed photograph of the Wreck of the Susan Gilmore (Slide C917-0504 in the John Turner Collection University of Newcastle) Could this be Freeman’s image?

The image above was recently unearthed among the research slides of the late Dr John Turner, held in the University of Newcastle Cultural Collections. It is taken from a different perspective to the more popular image circulating of the wreck taken from the beach. Dr Turner does not provide a source for the above image, but compare it with another recently located by Dr Ann Hardy in the Hyde Family Album at the NSW State Library. The image appears to have been taken at the same time, from the position of the people in the photograph.

Photograph of Wreck of Susan Gilmore, 1884, from Hyde Family Album PXA-1445-Box5 taken by Dr Ann Hardy 2012 (Courtesy of NSW State Library)

Photograph of Wreck of Susan Gilmore, 1884, from Hyde Family Album PXA-1445-Box5 taken by Dr Ann Hardy 2012 (Courtesy of NSW State Library)

The photograph taken below from the beach does appear to match the Freeman photograph description description from The Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate story published on the 14th July 1884 p.3 showing what appears to be Rocket Brigades’ life lines in the sand extending to the waterline. : http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article135857067

Wreck of the Susan Gilmore (Courtesy of the State Library of NSW) http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemPopLarger.aspx?itemid=393087

Wreck of the Susan Gilmore (Courtesy of the State Library of NSW) http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemPopLarger.aspx?itemid=393087

Wreck of the Susan Gilmore.

IN addition to the usual attractive contents of the Sydney Mail, the issue of Saturday last contains a very spirited three quarter-page engraving of the above disaster. The artist has very ably depicted the most exciting event in connection with the wreck – viz., that in which the captain’s wife is being rescued by the aid of the life lines at the hands of the gallant Newcastle Rocket Brigade. The engraving is taken from a photographic view of the wreck by Mr. G. Freeman, of this city, and forms a capital souvenir of the loss of the Susan Gilmore.

He photographed public buildings in Newcastle and Sydney, including the Town Hall, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour and streets of the city.

Hunter Street Newcastle near current Lockup Museum and Post Office. Circa 1880s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Hunter Street Newcastle near current Lockup Museum and Post Office. Circa 1880s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Bolton Street Newcastle, circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Bolton Street Newcastle, circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle Harbour taken from Stockton, circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle Harbour taken from Stockton, circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle wharves circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle wharves circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Unidentified man on Newcastle coastline circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Unidentified man on Newcastle coastline circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Decorative arrangement of shells, and marine ornamental art in Newcastle (Photograph by George Freeman)

Decorative arrangement of shells, and marine ornamental art in Newcastle (Photograph by George Freeman)

The Horse-Shoe, (now King Edward Park) circa 1880s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

The Horse-Shoe, (now King Edward Park) circa 1880s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Cliff overlooking Bogey Hole, circa 1880s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Cliff overlooking Bogey Hole, circa 1880s. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle Breakwater (Macquarie Pier) taken from Nobbys circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle Breakwater (Macquarie Pier) taken from Nobbys circa post 1894 (Photograph by George Freeman)

The Pilgrim Boston coal loading in Newcastle Harbour circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

The Pilgrim Boston coal loading in Newcastle Harbour circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Coaling ships at Newcastle Wharf, Nobbys in distance circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Coaling ships at Newcastle Wharf, Nobbys in distance circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Two horses on shoreline, possibly near present day Newcastle Ocean Baths site c.1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Two horses on shoreline, rock platform possibly near present day Newcastle Ocean Baths site c.1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Closeup of ocean rock platform and crashing waves (Photograph by George Freeman)

Closeup of ocean rock platform and crashing waves (Photograph by George Freeman)

Closeup of Newcastle coastline with clashing waves. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Closeup of Newcastle coastline with clashing waves. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Closeup of Newcastle coastline (Photograph by George Freeman)

Closeup of Newcastle coastline (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle coastline circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

Newcastle coastline circa 1880s (Photograph by George Freeman)

His beloved wife Sarah died of typhoid in 1885, (Newcastle or Sydney) leaving a young family for George and the older children to care for. George continued to photograph buildings and scenes in Parramatta, Sydney and Newcastle. He was also an interpreter of languages for the Sydney and Adelaide courts. In 1890 his health suffering he returned to Adelaide with his family and set up another photographic business promoting photography exhibitions, he bought the camera obscura to Australia with a tent show at Genelg Beach.

George John Freeman died on 5th April 1895.

In the 1870’s there were known to be 700 photographers in Australia – it was big business !

George John Freeman studios out did Duryea, Townshend and Robert Hall. George Freeman’s 34 year photographic  career encompassed skill and showmanship along with an ingenious entrepreneurial style that recorded the early years of Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, country towns and views and bought new and exciting innovations to the colony as  a ‘photographer of some note’ to which we are proud to uncover more of his work, and learn more about the man who was our great-grandfather and the legacy he left behind.

The National Library of Australia, Canberra (Trove collection – of 21 photographs he exhibited for the Philadelphia Exhibition )

The Adelaide State Library has a collection of photographs including a family history , a scrap-book and memorabilia.
Author : Pamela Goodhart Dodd – Great Grand Daughter of George John Freeman
( Information from family history copies of document,photographs and newspaper cuttings )
Copyright 2014 Andrew Dodd

Street lamp on bridge over unidentified river. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Street lamp on bridge over unidentified river. (Photograph by George Freeman)

Moyarra – An Australian Legend

“Drawn from Life by Sir Thomas L. Mitchell” Frontispiece from the 1891 edition of Moyarra: An Australian Legend.

Day Shift – 18/09/2012 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University

University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses Moyarra: An Australian Legend in Two Cantos originally printed in Maitland by R Jones at the ‘Mercury’ Office in 1851. Who wrote it, and what was it all about? Is it the earliest title published in the region?

Broadcast Notes:

The University holds both the original edition printed at the Mercury Office anonymously, as well as the 1891 edition published in London under the name of “Yittadairn”  which was pseudonym for George William Rusdon, the son of the Reverend G.K. Rusdon who was clergyman at Maitland from around 1832. We’re not sure if it is the earliest printed original work in the Region. It would be great if your listeners could tell us if they know of an earlier one.

You can read the 1891 edition online through the Openlibrary: http://archive.org/stream/moyarraaustralia00rusd#page/n5/mode/2up

A local researcher, Mr Ross Edmonds, asked whether this is the first original work published in the region, and it would be interesting to know if it is.

The original 1851 edition bears no author, but the 1891 edition bears the authorship of “Yittadairn” who was the pseudonym of George William Rusdon, (1819-1903) the son of the Rev. G.K. Rusdon (1784-1859) who was stationed in the parish of Maitland from 1834.

His observations and interest into the Aboriginal people of the district, as well as inspiration from the classical author Terence was distilled in his poem Moyarra.

George William Rusdon was a pastoralist, and a bit of a rebel rouser. He got himself in a bit of strife later on.

He moved to Maitland around the age of 15, by 25 he was managing a series of pastoral properties across New South Wales in Mingay, (near Gundagai), and others in the Lachlan and Goulburn districts. By 28 he had gone to China, and back and took up a position in 1849 as agent for the National schools which took him traveling as far north as Brisbane, taking in the Hunter Region and Armidale.

He was 32 years old when it was originally published, and he says in his preface that he wrote it as an amusement when in the bush and his sole companions was his faithful black, his dog, and his horse. So we can assume he composed it during those early years as a pastoralist, from around his formative teenage years to 25 years of age.

He says in the 1851 edition that he got the idea to publish it from a friend who suggested he write it as an Australian contribution to the Industrial Exhibition of 1851.

His love of the classics is interesting, the first edition quotes and makes reference to an obscure Roman  writer of mimes Deceimus Laberius, who got into a great deal of strife with Julius Caesar for being a smart Alec.

“A Roman knight,
This day, I left my sacred home; but soon
Shall there return, an actor and buffoon.”

He also makes reference to the Roman dramatist Terence, especially from the work Heauton Timorumenos (The Self Tormentor):

“Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto”
“I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me”
Heauton Timorumenos Prologue 45

In the 1891 edition, all references to Laberius appear to have been removed, Terence is still there, and adds the authorship under the pen name of “Yittadairn”.

“experimini,
In utramque partem ingenium quid possit meum.
Si nunquam avare precium statui arti meae,
Et eum esse quaestum in animum induxi maxumum,
Quam maxume servire vostris commodisj
Exemplum statuite in me, ut adolescentuli
Vobis placere studeant potius, quam sibi.”

“Do you make proof,
what, in each character, my ability can effect.
If I have never greedily set a high price upon my skill,
and have come to the conclusion that this is my greatest gain,
as far as possible to be subservient to your convenience,
establish in me a precedent, that the young
may be anxious rather to please you than themselves.”

The story concerns Moyarra, an Aboriginal warrior in love with Mytah, who is captured by a neighboring tribe’s warrior by the name of Muntookan. She is later murdered by him, and the second canto is a lament for her, and later for Moyarra after he is murdered as well. The whole thing is a sad lamentation to the Aboriginal people.

Festival of Autonomy 2012

Festival of Autonomy Thursday 2 to Friday 10 2012

Autonomy Day 1967 – Colour Slide by Ross Smith

The Festival of Autonomy 2012, has taken on a sixties theme this year.

The University of Newcastle was constituted as an autonomous institution on the 1st January 1965 by a Proclamation of His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales and signed and sealed on the 23rd December 1964 under the provisions of the University of Newcastle Act of that year.

Have a look at this site for further information:
https://uoncc.wordpress.com/2007/07/26/universitys-grant-of-arms-and-autonomy-day/

The first day of January, 1965 signified when the illustrious University of Newcastle was declared Autonomous from its forebearer, the University of New South Wales.

Autonomy day is normally held in early July, and students interpreted it as celebrating the autonomy of the University of Newcastle, from the University of New South Wales.

The date actually coincided with the winning of autonomy by the University of Technology from the Public Service Board control on the 1st July 1954. The students were entitled to give the celebration whatever meaning they chose. The fact that they called it ‘autonomy day’ heightened the students’ sense of the importance of autonomy and their need to defend it against outside interference. (Wright, 1992):113

Who needs an excuse to party?

Please have a look at a series of beautiful images captured by Ross Smith and Katherine Macneill back on the 19th July 1967 and available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/sets/72157601130140961/with/7736237636/

Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Newcastle View of City and Harbour - Autonomy Day 1967Newcastle View Overlooking Harbour - Autonomy Day 1967Newcastle View Overlooking Harbour - Autonomy Day 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Autonomy Day 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Procession through Newcastle on Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Autonomy Day 1967Civic Park in Newcastle on Autonomy Day 1967Autonomy Day, 1967Autonomy Day procession down Hunter Street Newcastle 1967 (Enhanced)Students at the University of Newcastle (Australia) 1967Students at the University of Newcastle (Australia) 1967Students at the University of Newcastle (Australia) 1967Students at the University of Newcastle (Australia) 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University of Newcastle International Students Union Dance June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University of Newcastle International Students Union Dance June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University of Newcastle International Students Union Dance June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University of Newcastle International Students Union Dance June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University of Newcastle International Students Union Dance June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University of Newcastle International Students Union Dance June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University students function circa June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University students function circa June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University students function circa June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University students function circa June 1967Newcastle band The Cult performing at University students function circa June 1967

Autonomy Day Quiet – Newcastle Morning Herald 20th July 1967

Back in September 2005 former editor of Opus Mr Paul Danks came in to the Archives to speak about an early expedition to the Callaghan Campus back in 1962. Paul took the series of photographs for an Opus story called Mud, Mush and Mosquitoes. Download the story here: Opus Visits the Shortland Site – 29th August 1962 or from the images below.

Opus Visits the Shortland Site – 29th August 1962 (Front Cover)

Mud Mush and Mosquitoes – Opus Visits the Shortland Site – 29th August 1962