|With thanks to Dr Isolde Neugart, our German visitors can read a translation of this summary page here.|
Artist, historian and adventurer Bill Gannon is completing an epic journey of his own. He and a small team of collaborating creatives have trekked, traipsed and driven their way through the same dramatic and changing landscapes as the 1844-45 expedition.
Bill said, "We compared descriptions in the explorers’ journals to today’s world. Leichhardt and John Gilbert were the first to record the route’s great pastoral lands, waterways, geology (including the massive coal seams), macropods, birds, insects, and so on. Our travels were assisted by modern conveniences (vehicles, GPS, etc), but we still had challenges of our own."
The project’s fieldwork began in September/October 2011. Bill Gannon and surveyor Rod Schlencker made a reconnaisance trip from Comet in Central Queensland to Burketown on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Various campsites were found and some sketches made. Importantly, the trip proved several things:
- that many of Leichhardt's campsite areas could still be located;
- his journal’s descriptions and understandings were indeed remarkable; and
- although there were some man-made changes to the scenery, most vistas remain.
Leichhardt and his companions journeyed off the edge of known maps and were remarkable in their reading of the landscape, food and water sources. "It was interesting to explore with fresh eyes, and to better understand and express the original trek – the tensions, thrills, isolation, tiredness, fears and relief," Bill said. "The project is about history and artistic excellence."
To whet your appetite, we also have a small selection of some of the pencil and ink sketches made by Bill in northern Queensland. To protect Bill's work, the large images carry a watermark. At the start of Leichhardt's Bicentenary birthday month in October 2013 we introduced an online viewing of the catalogue of the work he and his friends have created along the route of the explorer's great expedition.
To preview a selection of Bill's ink sketches, click here.
The full exhibition is currently (2014) touring Queensland and you can check these entries in our calendar for more information:
- Emerald Art Gallery : Saturday 8th to Friday 28th March*
(*During March, the exhibition will travel to three other central Queensland towns for a one-day showing; see below)
- Comet ~ Dig Park : Saturday 15th March
- Rolleston Hall : Sunday 16th March
- Springsure Art Gallery : Monday 17th March
- Capella Cultural Centre : Friday 28th March
- Yeppoon Town Hall : Thursday 10th to Friday 25th April
- Charters Towers World Theatre Gallery : Tuesday 29th April to Sunday 4th May
To view the full catalogue of the "Looking into Leichhardt" exhibition artwork by Bill Gannon and collaborators Sarah Larsen, Maljah Cathy Snow and Jason Benjamin, click on the cover thumbnail (right).
Opens a new window with Flipping Book TM viewer.
For information about Bill's exhibition in Leichhardt, NSW in October 2013 click here.
Find out more about Bill and his work here.