Page 1


Perc Tucker Regional Gallery 4 December 2015 - 7 February 2016


Publisher

Published on the occasion of

Gallery Services Gallery Services, Townsville City Council PO Box 1268 Townsville Queensland, 4810 Australia ptrg@townsville.qld.gov.au ŠGallery Services, Townsville City Council and the authors 2015 ISBN: 978-0-949461-08-7

Organised by Gallery Services Shane Fitzgerald Manager Gallery Services Eric Nash Curator Erwin Cruz Exhibitions and Collection Coordinator Michael Pope Education and Programs Coordinator Rob Donaldson Digital Media and Exhibition Design Coordinator Jo Stacey Team Leader Administration Gallery Services Holly Grech-Fitzgerald Collections Management Officer Carly Sheil Digital Media and Exhibition Design Officer Andrea Schutz Digital Media and Exhibition Design Fellow Sarah Welch Public Art Officer Leonardo Valero Exhibitions Officer Rurik Henry Exhibitions Officer Tegan Ollett Education and Programs Officer Jess Cuddihy Education and Programs Assistant Ruth Hughes Administration Officer Wendy Bainbridge Administration Officer Danielle Berry Arts Officer Damian Cumner Gallery Assistant Jillian Macfie Gallery Assistant Sarah Reddington Gallery Assistant Denise Weightman Gallery Assistant Kelly Bianchi Gallery Assistant

Cover Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946 Dry in the Bush [detail] 2009 oil, 82 x 107 cm Winner - Section 1 Open Award (acquisitive) from the Townsville Art Society 53rd Annual Art Award Acc. 2009.96 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery 4 December 2015 - 7 February 2016

Project Manager Shane Fitzgerald

Exhibition Curator Eric Nash

Publication Design and Development Eric Nash / Rob Donaldson

Acknowledgements

Gallery Services would like to acknowledge the efforts of the artist, Peter Lawson, the various lenders of artwork, and Townsville City Council in realising this exhibition and supporting publication.

Contact

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Cnr. Denham and Flinders St Townsville QLD 4810 Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm Sat - Sun: 10am - 2pm

The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in Queensland.

(07) 4727 9011 ptrg@townsville.qld.gov.au www.townsville.qld.gov.au @TCC_PercTucker PercTuckerTCC


Contents 07

Foreword

09

A Lifetime on Canvas

20

Landscapes and Seascapes

38

Historical Scenes

54

Portraits

60

Florals and Still Life

64

Light

Shane Fitzgerald

Eric Nash


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Ross Creek and Castle Hill in 1910 c.1977 oil on canvas board, 67. x 93 cm Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd, 1977 Acc. 1977.19 City of Townsville Art Collection

6

Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Foreword Perc Tucker Regional Gallery was officially opened by the Mayor of Townsville, Alderman M.F. Reynolds, on 25 September 1981. The Gallery is housed in an historic building established by the Union Bank of Australia in 1885 as its northern headquarters. It was designed and built in 1885 by the then colonial architect F.D.G. Stanley, whose niece, Gwendolyn, became a well known artist in Brisbane in the first half of this century. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery has taken great pride in supporting and showcasing artists from this region throughout its 34 year history. This exhibition, Peter Lawson: Retrospect, underlines this enduring commitment to North Queensland’s artists. It is also fitting that this major exhibition should celebrate a lifetime’s achievement in the arts for a Townsville icon, Peter Lawson, as we enter Townsville’s 150th year celebrations in 2016. Indeed, Lawson’s career as a professional artist has spanned more than 50 years - longer than Perc Tucker Regional Gallery has been operating. In a difficult industry, Lawson has endured on the back of his determination and talent.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

His love of Townsville and the outback — the land, its people, and its history — are immediately evident in exploring his formidable catalogue of works, of which a fine selection are displayed in this survey exhibition. While I opened this passage with a brief history of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, perhaps the greatest testament to Lawson’s ability is that far more can be gleaned about the history of the Gallery and our region in general from his immaculate oil paintings, such as The corner of Flinders and Denham Streets, early this century in which the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery building is captured. I trust audiences, including Lawson’s considerable following, will greatly enjoy this exhibition and the opportunity it provides to pay tribute to an amazing career. My congratulations to the artist, and profuse thanks to the Gallery team for their work in realising this exhibition. Shane Fitzgerald Manager, Gallery Services Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery

7


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Paint for Your Life 2014 oil on canvas board, 85 x 60 cm Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

8

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


A Lifetime on Canvas Looking back on a career as a professional artist that has spanned more then 50 years, history will recognise Peter Lawson as one of the most prolific painters from, and of, the Townsville and greater North Queensland region. Born in Townsville in 1946, Peter Lawson grew up in Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island, and was schooled in Townsville. The artist recalls, “I lived on Magnetic Island as a small child which was a marvellous way to grow up, but then my father decided we would move to the mainland for school - commuting was much harder in those days, and that was when we went to live in the old bank.” i The artist is now based in Arcadia and works from his studio, Peter Lawson Fine Art Gallery, continuing to this day to make his living entirely from artwork sales, commissions, restoration projects, and art lessons. While the financial security enjoyed by a professional artist can be unpredictable at best, and dire at worst, it is testament to Lawson’s ability and dedication that he has forged such a long career as an artist. Indeed, his work features in numerous public and private collections in Townsville, around Australia, and also overseas, and he has also won countless award exhibitions.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Lawson “feels extremely privileged to do what he loves most each and every day,” ii and his genuine passion and drive to continually learn and improve have underpinned his success. Family, both immediate and extended, have played a defining role in Lawson’s career. The only son of Albury and Daisy, Lawson showed an interest in art at a very early age. He once remarked, “my mother tells me I always had a pencil in my hand.” iii Recognising not only an interest but also a natural gift, Lawson’s parents set him on the path to becoming an artist by enrolling him in a correspondence course at age 11, in which he was taught ‘the fundamentals of perspective and colour theory.’ iv As a representational artist, these key pillars have informed much of his career. Lawson explains, “Art should be definitive and communicative. The work of an artist is to give a very clear and effective message to the viewer.” v

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The outcome of Lawson’s initial training was a small work which would set the tone for his career; an en plain air rendering of one of Magnetic Island’s notable shipwrecks, executed in oil using a palette knife. Throughout his distinguished career, Lawson has continued to paint immaculate scenes of Magnetic Island, Townsville, and the regions he visits. His preference remains to paint in oils, and his technical skills in working with a palette knife have been continuously refined over the years, resulting in luscious, precise works that are accomplishments in texture as much as they are in form and colour. This small painting would also be the artist’s first sale — the first of many. Another formative experience came at age 16 when, having left school, Lawson took a trip with his father ‘out west’. On experiencing the Australian landscape, Lawson says, “That did it - I was hooked. I love the outback, its colours, the people...The outback is Australia’s identity. Australia is some 75 per cent desert. A wave pounding a beach could be anywhere... When I got back from that first trip out west is when I really started to paint.” vi

As a teen in the 1950s and 1960s, Lawson — like many at that age — was enamoured by rock and roll, and spent a fair portion of his creative energy playing in a band. The band would practice in the vault of the Commercial Bank in Flinders Street East (now The Bank Nightclub), where his family were living.

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Rock and roll would be but a brief sojourn however, as Lawson re-focussed on his dream of becoming an acclaimed artist. This was set in motion partly due to his marriage at age 19 to fellow artist Ruth Heiner, with whom he would travel to Melbourne to paint. Lawson recalls, “We did watercolours and at the weekends we used to park the car down at the beach and lean these watercolours in rough old frames we knocked together against the car with a for sale sign and try to make enough money for the week. The police pulled up one day to ask if we had a hawker’s licence, but they ended up buying a painting.”

“When things got really tough we used to go around to houses in the evening and ask people to buy paintings — they did too. I think they felt sorry for us, a couple of bush kids in the big city.” vii The harsh realities of living off of one’s art has broken many talented emerging artists, and though it never broke him, it did for a time bend Lawson to apply his undoubted talents to a more steady trade — sign writing. Lawson admits he enrolled to learn commercial lettering and art upon realising that “I would have to earn some steady money to support a family...I realised that you can’t live off art unless you’ve practised a long time, and I needed money.” viii. The long hours would take Lawson away from his own art, with the artist recalling, “You can’t spend all day doing fine brushwork on signs and come home and start painting pictures.” ix

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


At 27, Lawson had the realisation that his time had come. Visiting Geo Styles, a gallery in Hunter Street, Sydney, Lawson was appreciating one of the exhibited beachscapes, when “suddenly I thought ‘I can do that,’ and not only that but ‘I must do that’...finally I knew I was capable of living my dream. I went home and told Ruth that I was giving up sign writing and going back to painting.” x This proved to be a tumultuous period in the artist’s life, largely due to the breakdown of his marriage to Ruth, with whom Lawson had three children; Ben, Sarah and Marc. However, Peter and Ruth remain close.

“At the time it was a pretty drastic decision, and in some ways it cost me a lot, personally. But on the other hand, I look back at that time and realise that what I went through then resulted in what I have today. I can live in paradise on Magnetic Island, make my living by painting, travel about a quarter of the time to places I really want to go, and have the opportunity to experiment and develop my work.” xi Lawson returned to Townsville in 1968, and from there began to make a name for himself as an outback artist. Over the course of the next five years he would make many journeys throughout Queensland to paint outback towns, furthering his interest in Australian history.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Lawson’s first exhibition at the Townsville School of Arts in 1970 was a huge success, with all works on display selling at the opening celebration. xii This result validated the artist’s decision, and he has worked solely as a professional artist from this point forward, continuing to explore landscape and historical subjects.

Having spent several years re-committing himself to his art practice, the year 1977 saw the release of the book Townsville: an early history, on which Peter had collaborated with his father Albury. Albury, who split his time between Magnetic Island and The Rocks in Sydney, was an avid writer and a keen student of local history, however this was his first book. In his introductory statement, Albury stated that, “Every community, every suburb, has its own history. The following pages can only give a glimpse of a small part of the whole.” xiii The glimpses the publication did provide were into the first fifty years of Townsville’s development, including the histories of landmarks such as the First Exchange Hotel, Ross Creek, the School of Arts Building, Railway Station, Town Hall, Stanley and Flinders Streets, and the Seaview Baths. Albury’s insightful commentary was partnered by Peter’s pen and ink illustrations, and reproductions of a series of 20 historical oil paintings he had completed, which had been kindly loaned for reproduction by the owners, The John Holland Group.

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The corner of Flinders and Denham Streets, early this century oil on canvas board, 70.4 x 100.9 cm Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd 1977 Acc. 1977.21 City of Townsville Art Collection

12

Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

c.1977


The paintings were produced from life (if the building was still standing), and also from historical photographs, particularly reference materials borrowed from the James Cook University. Indeed, the original plan for the book had been for Albury to simply write brief descriptions about each of the 20 paintings, before the father and son team, “decided to do a thorough research of Townsville’s early history, and publish their findings.” xiv Amongst the 20 paintings, The corner of Flinders and Denham Streets, early this century is a highlight. The work underlines Lawson’s firm grasp of light; the painting, while evidently from a bygone era, remains lively. Many of the buildings depicted still stand today, some in altered capacities, and as such the work provides an utterly believable and intriguing portal into what our city’s main street looked like some one hundred years ago. The book Townsville: an early history was launched by the Mayor of the time, Alderman P.J.R. (Perc) Tucker, who professed that, “The reproductions of the paintings which illustrate the book provided a fascinating glimpse into our past.” xv Townsville: an early history was the first of a number of publications Peter would contribute paintings and illustrations to in the following decades, and was also the first of many books Albury and Peter planned to collaborate on.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Books on which Peter worked in the ensuing years included A Town That Was: Ravenswood N.Q. in 1981. This project was a collaboration with the artist’s friends, author Don Roderick, and fellow Magnetic Island artist Denis Hardy. The same team would go on to produce The Town They Called The World! Charters Towers, in 1984. In this latter publication, it was written that Lawson’s “love and understanding of the historical is reflected in the intimacy and colour of his recreated scenes of the old Charters Towers.” xvi Indeed, there is a pleasant contrast between Lawson’s paintings for the book, and Hardy’s considerably more schematic and architectural pieces. Lawson’s paintings were more loosely handled — certainly more so than even his own paintings for previous publications — perhaps a pointer to his burgeoning interest in Impressionism at the time. As a result, the works were imbued with an almost romantic sense of nostalgia, particularly evident in works such as Lower Mosman Street - 1895, in which the moonlight and the glow of light through windows at dusk allow viewers to create their own narratives about the people frequenting the pubs, hotels and houses. Denis Hardy was an important contemporary for Lawson, and a source of much encouragement. A conversation between the peers upon Lawson announcing he was going to become a professional artist (well before their book illustration collaborations) is an enduring memory for Lawson.

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Lawson recalls, “One of the very earliest things that Denis Hardy said to me...as I left his house the afternoon that I told him that I was going to paint for a living professionally...he said ‘Keep your palette wet Peter.’ So he was important to me in that sense... And I became, like Denis did, very interested in the era of the gold rush days, and I started illustrating these towns and these things that were pertinent to the gold rush era.” xvii

Of course, the artist’s interest in history and the pioneering days was also piqued by his connection to that relative. Peter Lawson is the grand-nephew of Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson, the acclaimed Australian poet and writer. It was a connection that proved a nuisance for Peter’s parents, as he recalls, “When I was growing up my parents got so sick of it they taught me to ignore it.” xvi Despite this warning, Lawson researched Henry’s life, and out of interest and opportunism, has dedicated numerous paintings to the poet’s oeuvre. Lawson explains that, “I can really feel the man’s poetry. I strive to bring alive his vision.” xviii However, in response to those who would accuse him of ‘cashing in’, Lawson is justifiably unashamed, particularly given the difficulties artists must already face in earning a living.

14

He was once quoted as saying, “I did it in the name of enterprise...it’s given me the freedom to live the way I want to. Sure, there are people who are going to look at me and say, ‘He’s no artist - he’s just Henry Lawson’s great nephew.’ But who cares? I’ve competed in this game for a long time.” xix Lawson’s first major exploration of Henry Lawson’s written works was an illustration entitled The Teams, and was followed in 1979 by a book produced in collaboration with Professor Colin Roderick, who bears no relation to Lawson’s previous collaborator Don Roderick. Entitled Henry Lawson: Illustrated Poems, there were initially 100,000 copies printed, which were all sold shortly after the book’s launch, such was its popularity. Amongst the poems was one which had never previously been published in any of Lawson’s earlier collections. The poem, The Young Streetgirl, was accompanied by a painting by Lawson that was credited as “one of the most poignant and sensitive pieces in the book,” xx befitting the sensitive subject matter of the poem. Lawson credits Professor Colin Roderick with ‘anchoring’ his career, attributing much of his early success to Roderick’s enthusiasm as a publisher to realise Lawson’s vision of illustrating the acclaimed poet’s written works. The success of this first publication prompted the development of a companion book, Henry Lawson: Illustrated Stories, again produced in collaboration with Professor Colin Roderick.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


In his introduction to the second book, Roderick stated, “The welcome accorded the first volume of these companion books, Henry Lawson: Illustrated Poems, was a tribute not only to the perennial popularity of Henry Lawson as a poet, but also to the sympathetic interpretation of his poems by his great-nephew, Peter Lawson. In that volume Lawson’s intense feeling was paramount. In this one personal feeling is restrained but keen perception prominent.” xxi The second volume presented twenty selected stories and companion paintings that, as Roderick explained, “aroused the feeling expressed in the poems.” xxii The paintings featured in this book again evidenced Lawson’s leaning towards Impressionism. They also displayed a more pronounced use of deliberately restricted colour palettes in individual works, which the artist effectively employed to evoke the emotions of the accompanying stories. One notable example is the painting, The Ghostly Door, a 46 x 59cm work painted to accompany the story of the same name. In an otherwise dark composition, the artist uses only red highlights — presumably from a candle or lantern light — to pick up the edges of the story’s two main characters, sitting upright in their beds, staring terrified at the open door. It is a suitably uneasy composition, an unsettling scene that foregrounds the sense of the unknown. Certainly the viewer is transported into Henry Lawson’s story, which reads, “I never felt anything so creepy: the foot of my bunk was behind the door, and I drew up my feet as it came open; it opened wide, and stood so. We waited, for five minutes it seemed, hearing each other

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

breathe, watching for the door to close; then Dave got out, very gingerly, and up on one end, and went to the door like a cat on wet bricks.” xxiii Peter Lawson’s interest in his great-uncle’s written work is enduring, and resulted in another publication in 1987. Entitled The Roaring Days, the book featured the famous poem of the same name, and 22 reproductions of Lawson’s accompanying paintings. The works capture the outback’s characters, the dust and hazy light, the sweat and hardship, in tune with Henry’s observations. The authenticity of the artist’s vision was no accident; writing in the publication’s inside cover, Lawson explained that “In an endeavour to re-create the living scenes evoked by the poem, I sought the assistance of friends to ‘act’ for me so that I could sketch and photograph them.” xxiv Lawson also contributed a painting, The Mountain Splitter, to a major, leather-bound compendium, The Complete Works of Henry Lawson.

While Lawson’s heart and palette reside in Townsville, his prolific output has also depicted his many travels. Whether these trips be to the outback regions of Queensland, or on painting journeys around the country and overseas, or to various locations to complete commissioned works, Lawson has a pronounced ability to accurately capture not only the appearance, but also the essence of his chosen scene.

15


Such journeys have also served to expand his market; while he is recognised largely as a North Queensland artist, he has successfully exhibited his work and gained media recognition in a number of state capitals and overseas. Working largely en plein air, Lawson’s travels have evidenced that he is equally adept at painting the dust, radiating heat and red earth of Central Australia, as he is the golden beaches of Magnetic Island, or the lush, rolling, mountainous vistas seen along the eastern coastline of Australia. One of his many endeavours was to record the development of Canberra from its inception, while a three-week tour of Central Australia provided the inspiration for a solo exhibition at Northtown Gallery. Of the exhibition, Lawson stated, “My exhibition will act as a guide taking people through Central Australia showing the effects of drought with poor stock in bad country, the wonderful rock formations of the McDonnell Ranges, Ayers Rock and the mystical domes of Mount Olga.” xxv His journeys to regional centres over the years, such as Maleny, Cloncurry, Geraldton, Ipswich, and many others were met with much enthusiasm, often resulting in newspaper articles about his en plein air depictions, and at times paving the way for major exhibitions, such as the show From the Coast to the ‘Curry, which was hosted at the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery.

16

His interest in the history of regions also extends to notable events, as highlighted in the work Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim 1954-1968, which depicted the original Magnetic Island to Townsville swim in 1954, which had been organised to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Townsville.

Unsurprisingly, critical acclaim has also been bestowed upon Lawson in the form of numerous awards in art prizes around the country. In Townsville, this has included winning the major Open Art Award at the Townsville Art Awards as recently as 2009, for his oil painting Dry in the Bush. Lawson’s mastery of the palette knife again comes to the fore in this work, which builds up the textures and colours of a dense, rugged scrub land in the dry tropics - a scene so accurately depicted you can smell the parched earth and brittle grasses. Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image (Opposite)

Image (Above)

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim 1954-1968 oil on canvas board, 72.5 x 103 cm Gift of the Magnetikhana Committee 1983 Acc. 1983.37 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Dry in the Bush 2009 oil, 82 x 107 cm

c.1977

Winner - Section 1 Open Award (acquisitive) from the Townsville Art Society 53rd Annual Art Award Acc. 2009.96 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

17


Peter Lawson’s career has also seen his work presented in the public realm. Most notably he collaborated in 1994 with daughter Sarah on a series of murals commissioned by Townsville City Council. The three murals depicted Flinders Mall in 1915 and 1920, and a view of the trochus luggers and sailing ships navigating the Ross Creek in 1870. Lawson was selected for the project due to the regard with which he is held for his historical scenes, however the artist also intended for the works to paint a possible picture of our future, stating, “The idea is that if you show the public what the environment used to be like it perhaps gives an idea what should be built for the future.” xxvi In the year following Lawson’s commissioned murals, he endured one of his most challenging times, losing thousands of dollars worth of completed paintings, preliminary sketches, reference resources and art materials in a fire at his home studio in Nelly Bay. Lawson was in Canberra at the time of the fire, working towards a major exhibition, however did return to Townsville briefly to survey the damage, which included one bedroom being completely gutted, another partly damaged, and smoke, heat and water damage to the remainder of the house.

Whilst a major setback, Lawson would again not be broken. He re-commenced painting soon after the accident, and in more recent years expanded his retail presence by opening the Peter Lawson Fine Art Gallery on Flinders Street West in the Townsville CBD, next door to Umbrella Studio contemporary arts. The Gallery provided a display space for the artist’s available works, depicting various subject matter, as well as a studio space to undertake framing and discuss commissions with potential customers. The exhibition Peter Lawson: Retrospect is fitting recognition for a leading Townsville artist who has never been broken in his dream of living as a professional artist. For more than 50 years he has plied his trade, developing a loyal base of supporters and gaining critical acclaim through exhibitions and prizes across the country. Retrospect allows us to look back through his oeuvre to celebrate his well-established talents as a painter of the region’s landscapes and seascapes, and historical scenes. It also enables us to highlight the artist’s adaptability as a painter of fine portraits, still lifes, and Impressionistic works. Eric Nash Curator, Gallery Services Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery

References:

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


i.

Vernon M 1994, ‘Painter in Paradise’, The Townsville Bulletin Friday January 28, 1994, page 21.

ii. The Lawson legacy, n.d. Available from: <http://www.peterlawsonfineart.net.au/about-us>. [21 September 2015]. iii.

Petchell, L-A n.d., ‘Visiting artist has a brush with bus’, The Geraldton Guardian n.d., page unknown.

iv.

Andersen, J 2015, Townsville - from strength to strength, The North Queensland Newspaper Company Limited, Townsville.

v.

Lawson, P n.d., The Peter Lawson Collection, Peter Lawson Fine Art Gallery, Townsville.

vi.

Vernon M 1994, ‘Painter in Paradise’, The Townsville Bulletin Friday January 28, 1994, page 21.

vii.

Dargaville J n.d., ‘The Lawson tradition lingers’, The Townsville Bulletin, n.d., page unknown

viii.

Vernon M 1994, ‘Painter in Paradise’, The Townsville Bulletin Friday January 28, 1994, page 21.

ix.

Vernon M 1994, ‘Painter in Paradise’, The Townsville Bulletin Friday January 28, 1994, page 21.

x.

Vernon M 1994, ‘Painter in Paradise’, The Townsville Bulletin Friday January 28, 1994, page 21.

xi.

Vernon M 1994, ‘Painter in Paradise’, The Townsville Bulletin Friday January 28, 1994, page 21.

xii.

Lawson A & Lawson P 1977, Townsville: an early history, Rigby, Brisbane.

xiii.

Lawson A & Lawson P 1977, Townsville: an early history, Rigby, Brisbane.

xiv.

Author unknown 1977, ‘Fifty Year History’, Townsville Daily Bulletin Tuesday February 22, 1977, page unknown.

xv.

Author unknown 1977, ‘Our city’s history “on paper”’, Townsville Daily Bulletin n.d., page unknown.

xvi.

Roderick D 1984, The Town They Called The World! Charters Towers, Boolarong Publications, Brisbane.

xvii.

Interview with the artist, July 2015.

xviii.

Dargaville J n.d., ‘The Lawson tradition lingers’, The Townsville Bulletin, n.d., page unknown

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

xix.

‘Australian Scene. On Magnetic Island: In Henry’s Footsteps’, TIME November 9, 1987, page 4.

xx.

Author unknown 1979, ‘Lawson - the poet, painter’, Townsville Advertiser, December 13, 1979, page unknown.

xxi.

Roderick C & Lawson P 1981, Henry Lawson: Illustrated Stories, Rigby, Brisbane.

xxii.

Roderick C & Lawson P 1981, Henry Lawson: Illustrated Stories, Rigby, Brisbane.

xxiii.

Lawson H 1901, ‘The Ghostly Door’, Cassell’s Magazine, May 1901

xxiv.

Lawson H & Lawson P 1987, The Roaring Days, J.M. Dent Pty Limited, Knoxfield, Victoria.

xxv.

Hanson L n.d., ‘You’re invited to preview’, Townsville Daily Bulletin n.d., page unknown.

xxvi.

Author unknown 1994, ‘Project more than a job for this pair’, Townsville Advertiser, Wednesday August 10, 1994, page 6.

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20

Landscapes and Seascapes


Image (Opposite)

Image (Above)

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Pallarenda Evening [detail] c. 1982 oil on canvas board, 39 x 49 cm

Mt Stuart Morning c. 1980 oil on canvas, 60 x 90 cm

Collection of Greg Peel / PwC

Courtesy of Gavin and Kay Gillman

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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“I was so happy with my first knife painting that I ran along the beach with it, not realising I was flicking sand all over it. It took me two hours at home to get all the grit off the picture. Cyclone Althea twisted the wreck of “The City of Adelaide” and gave me, later on in life, a new subject to work with.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Image

Wreck of the City of Adelaide 1 c. 1965 oil on canvas board, 37.5 x 45 cm

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Courtesy of Don and Anna Pickett

Wreck of the City of Adelaide 2 1979 oil on canvas board, 75 x 121 cm

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Courtesy of Ron and Carmel Store Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Australian Life c. 1992 oil on canvas board, 90 x 121 cm Private Collection Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The Wattle is Out 2003 oil on canvas board, 59 x 90 cm Courtesy of Bob Jones Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Kapoc 2007 oil on canvas board, 64 x 91 cm Courtesy of Rod and Wendy Williams Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was asked to go to a live firing exercise at High Range. I was almost overwhelmed with excitement watching the action around me. Army personnel were absolutely protective of me and remarkably helpful to me.â&#x20AC;?

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

A.P.C.s at High Range 2004 oil on canvas board, 60 x 90.5 cm Courtesy of Townsville RSL Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

South Side Pub c. 1988 Oil on canvas board, 19.5 x 29 cm Private Collection Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Strand Icon c. 2004 Oil on canvas board, 19.5 x 24.5 cm Courtesy of Rod and Wendy Williams Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Strand Icons 2003 oil on canvas board, 23 x 37 cm Private Collection Gleeson Group Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

“I am proud of our Strand icons. We should celebrate and treasure them.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Church on the Hill c. 1997 oil on canvas board, 59.5 x 75 cm Courtesy of Bob Jones Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Egrets c. 1996 oil on canvas board, 61 x 89 cm Courtesy of Lee Jones

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“I’ve sweated on it, I’ve represented it, I grew up running on it, and I’ve watched it change mood. I have learnt to love it.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Up to the Faces c. 2000 oil on canvas board, 48 x 71 cm Private Collection Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Reefwalkers c. 1985 oil on canvas board, 37 x 51.5 cm Courtesy of Bob Jones

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“I thank God for my life. I wake up each morning, walk onto my verandah — cup of tea in hand — and this is what greets me.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Front Yard c. 2005 Oil on canvas board, 38.5 x 49 cm Private Collection Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

From Picnic Bay c. 2000 oil on canvas board, 56.5 x 84.5 cm Courtesy of Bradley Skinner

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“I remember the old “Magnetic” and her sister ship. We came over every day to school on them. They used to load that top deck with Horseshoe Bay pineapples. They were small, rough skinned, and sugary. Most fun for us kids was the poor skipper trying to dock these vessels in rough weather.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Old Arcadia Jetty c. 1980 oil on canvas board, 74 x 48 cm Courtesy of Lee Jones Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Low Tide c. 1999 oil on canvas, 60 x 90 cm Private Collection

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The Click of the Crabs c. 1990 oil on canvas, 80 x 121 cm Collection of Greg Peel / PwC Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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“Uncle Henry wrote;

36

‘Their shining Eldorado, Beneath the southern skies, Was day and night for ever Before their eager eyes.’”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Under the Southern Stars c. 1986 oil on canvas board, 60 x 90 cm Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

On the Trade Winds c. 1986 oil on canvas board, 67.5 x 49 cm Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Historical Scenes 38

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image (Opposite)

Image (Above)

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Flight of the Coach [detail] c. 1988 oil on canvas board, 49 x 59 cm

The Elders c. 1978 oil on canvas board, 20.5 x 28.5 cm

Courtesy of the Bates Family

Courtesy of the Bates Family

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The Coach is in Town c. 1992 oil on canvas board, 61 x 89 cm Courtesy of Lee Jones

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

First Busses 2014 oil on canvas, 39 x 60 cm Courtesy of Courtney and Jared Heuir Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The Teams c. 1969 oil on canvas board, 89.5 x 59 cm Collection of Connolly Suthers Lawyers

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Out of the Dust c. 1987 oil on canvas board, 61 x 90 cm Courtesy of Bob Jones Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;We went fishing and crabbing in all our school holidays. Those were the days, and those were the crabs, too! They were big and rusty, so you can imagine what these kids, at the turn of the century, saw.â&#x20AC;?

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Life on the Creek c. 1999 oil on canvas board, 61 x 87.5 cm Courtesy of Evan Furlong Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image

Image

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Days of Gold c. 1994 oil on canvas board, 65 x 91 cm

The New Imperial c. 2003 oil on canvas board, 61 x 90 cm

Collection of J and D Lynch, Charters Towers

Courtesy of Martin and Tracey Josselyn

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The frilly old lady down the road has inspired me as an artist all of my life. It has charmed me, it has welcomed me, and indeed it has supported me.â&#x20AC;? Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Off to Aridas 2005 oil on canvas board, 60 x 88.5 cm Courtesy of Bob and Susie Katter

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“We used to go to the Roxy Theatre in the Town Hall building. It, with its magnificent long verandah, collapsed in a raging, and very mysterious, fire one tragic night.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Town Hall at the turn of the century [1915] oil on canvas board, 67.5 x 93 cm

c.1977

Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd, 1977 Acc. 1977.25 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Old AMP Building c. 1985 oil on canvas, 65 x 91 cm Collection of Connolly Suthers Lawyers

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Sunday Morning c. 1987 oil on canvas, 59 x 90 cm Courtesy of Bob Jones Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The ambulance building at the corner of Sturt and Stanley Streets in 1904 oil on canvas board, 58.5 x 68.5 cm Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd, 1977 Acc. 1977.18 City of Townsville Art Collection

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Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

c.1977


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Stanley Street in 1915 c.1977 oil on canvas board, 67.5 x 93 cm Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd, 1977 Acc. 1977.24 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

51


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Untitled [Bohle Abbatoirs] n.d. oil on canvas board, 83.5 x 64 cm Gift of Mr & Mrs K Griffiths 2001 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Railway Station in 1908 c.1977 Oil on canvas board, 64.5 x 84.5 cm Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd, 1977 Acc. 1977.20 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Flinders Street East in 1912 from the Post Office oil on canvas board, 82.3 x 112.5 cm

c.1977

Gift of John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd, 1977 Acc. 1977.27 City of Townsville Art Collection Photo: Holly Grech-Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Portraits 54

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“In an endeavour to recreate the living scenes evoked by Uncle Henry Lawson’s poem, “The Roaring Days,” I sought the assistance of friends to ‘act’ for me so that I could photograph them. To these people, who enthusiastically helped with this project, I will always be grateful.”

Image (Opposite)

Image (Above)

Image (Above)

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Jack Callcott and Stephen Brierley [detail] c. 1986 oil on canvas board, 49 x 74.5 cm

Richard Magoffin c. 1985 oil on canvas board, 59.5 x 45.5 cm

Ernest Aberg and Richard Magoffin c. 1985 oil on canvas board, 59.5 x 90 cm

Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea

Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Jayne Naughton c. 1986 oil on canvas board, 75 x 50 cm Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“Uncle Henry wrote; ‘Oh, they were lion-hearted Who gave our country birth! Oh, they were of the stoutest sons From all the lands on earth!’”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Geoff Burry c. 1985 oil on canvas board, 24.5 x 34.5 cm Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Earl Luscombe and Denis Hardy c. 1986 oil on canvas board, 59 x 90 cm Courtesy of Joe Goicoechea

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The Loaded Dog

c. 1994

oil on canvas board Courtesy of Charters Towers Regional Council Photo: Linda Kelso

“This work took inspiration from Uncle Henry’s short story, “The Loaded Dog”, particularly the passage reading; ‘‘Run Andy,! run!’ they shouted back at him. ‘Run!!! Look behind you, you fool!’ Andy turned slowly, and looked, and there, close behind him, was the retriever with the cartridge in his mouth - wedged into his broadest and silliest grin.’”

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Florals and Still Life 60

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


Image (Opposite)

Image (Above)

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Water Lillies [detail] c. 1990 oil on canvas board, 49 x 71 cm

From the Garden c. 2014 oil on canvas board, 54.5 x 64.5 cm

Courtesy of Bob Jones

Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Rose and Chrysanthemums 2015 oil on canvas board, 36 x 29 cm Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


“I like working with flowers. There is a broad and diverse range of hues in the floral world. It’s a turn on.”

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Grevilleas 2015 oil on canvas board, 39 x 29 cm Courtesy of Jan and Laurie Neilson Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Light 64

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had to recognise the light through this picture. A painter would have to be mighty fast to catch this on location. I was mighty fast too; the place is full of crocodiles!â&#x20AC;?

Image (Opposite)

Image (Above)

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Light on the Harbour [detail] 2015 oil on canvas board, 56 x 74.5 cm

Cattle Creek Sunrise c. 2008 oil on canvas board, 56 x 86 cm

Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;A group of relics, a bunch of flowers, a distant mountain range. How do you loosen them all up? By abandoning sentiment and pre-conceptions. That can be touchingly difficult at times, but if you want to express effectively and be understood, then you must go on simplifying.â&#x20AC;?

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

The Ghosts of Kuradella c. 2010 oil on canvas board, 56 x 78 cm Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


â&#x20AC;&#x153;As I drove past these fellows, they all waved at me. So I stopped to chat with them and get them down while the breeze was still rustling them.â&#x20AC;?

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Afternoon Interlude c. 2011 oil on canvas board, 55.5 x 79 cm Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Battle of the Bush c. 1994 oil on canvas board, 55.5 x 87 cm Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson

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Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery


â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I look back over my whole career, recognition of light is, I believe, what kept driving me. Its power and my belief in it has, I think, fortified my efforts in representing and interpreting things.â&#x20AC;?

Image Peter LAWSON Townsville, Australia b.1946

Light 2015 oil on canvas board, 55 x 75 cm Courtesy of the Artist, Peter Lawson Photo: Shane Fitzgerald

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery

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Retrospect | Peter Lawson: Publication  
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