NSW Art Gallery Visit: John Glover

Which art work did you find most meaningful and/or enjoyable? 

The artworks I most enjoyed were the collection by John Glover. The three landscape pieces we examined really struck me as I could see a timeline of colonisation. Although not the order they were created, and the pieces are of different locations, if you line them up as below, it almost looks like a landscape in the process of transforming. Presumably it was not the artist’s intention to view them this way, but the content and colours seem to change in a progression. The first contains Aboriginal people going about their daily life, apparently uninterrupted. The second image places a western women within the frame, although she is unobtrusive in her environment. The third is a flattened landscape being used for farming with buildings in the center and a man overseeing it all in the foreground.

The branches on the trees were the things that initially drew me to these paintings as they look so whimsical but somehow at home in the surrounding. However the trees appear to lose some of their wildness as the paintings progress, with wild curling branches lit up by the sun in the first one, and darker, more contained trees in the third one.

The overall colour is progressively dulled as well, with bright vibrant colours leading to darker, yet still vibrant shades, and eventually duller, muted tones. Even the clouds in the sky increase in quantity in this progression, greying the sky.

These changes certainly gave me a sense of lost wilderness, although Glover clearly depicts the beauty in each situation.

John Glover, Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen’s Land (1838)
John Glover, Launceston and the river Tamar (circa 1832)
John Glover, Patterdale Farm (circa 1840)


Images taken from NSW Art Gallery, John Glover Collection https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/?artist_id=glover-john

1 Comment

  1. This is an excellent creative interpretation of Glover’s paintings Mikaela. You have a good idea for differences and your “essay” makes very interesting reading. Great work! Some of your sentences are a little clumsy. Shorter sentences are easier to comprehend and easier to manage from the writer’s point of view. So short is beautiful. Of course occasionally a longer sentence is warranted, but always try a short version first. Long sentences can so easily lose their grammatical integrity- unless you are very careful!
    Editing Needed (and some workshop follow-ups- see Purdue Owl for help: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/
    *The artworks that I most enjoyed was = The artworks that I most enjoyed were [ plural subject “artworks” needs plural verb “were”. See Agreement of Subject and Verb. Plural nouns need plural verbs and singular nouns need singular verbs. What should this be? http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/595/01/ ]
    * like a landscape transforming. = like a landscape in the process of being transformed


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