Buckley's cave, painting by Jan Senbergs
Buckley's cave painting by Jan Senbergs.
1996, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 197.8 x 258.9cm. Geelong Gallery Collection. Gift of Sharon Grey and John Hall through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2014.
Contact Geelong Gallery.Copyright
Reproduced courtesy the artist.
The dramatic coastline of western Victoria and an important aspect of the region’s history come together in Buckley’s cave - a work inspired by Senbergs’ personal connection to the region and his interest in the life of escaped convict William Buckley who lived with the local Wathaurong people for some three decades in the early 1800's.
Senbergs acknowledges Buckley’s significance to Indigenous people by depicting him assuming the stance of the subject as depicted by Indigenous artist Tommy McRae (Kwatkwat) in the circa 1870 ink drawing, Buckley ran away from the ship.
In Senbergs’ painting, Buckley stands within the opening of his cave, sited between the crashing ocean waves and a serene, sandy beach: effectively a metaphor for the perceived wildness and civility of the two worlds he inhabited.