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Our Fathers Cleared the Bush

Remembering Eyre Peninsula

Jill Roe

Renowned historian Jill Roe, whose grandparents were early settlers of South Australia's west coast, revisits her mid-century childhood in what was one of Australia’s most remote regions.

Rhythms of work and play were punctuated by moments - the annual show, a visit from young Queen Elizabeth - that connected farming lives, however briefly, to a changing world. ...
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Our Fathers Cleared the Bush
Stanley Spencer

A twentieth-century British master

Richard Heathcote, Anna Jug, Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) is one of Britain's most significant twentieth-century painters. His extraordinary output of portraits, complex figure compositions and religious masterpieces stands comparison with the European greats of his time. Spencer was most famous (and occasionally infamous) for his celebration and immortalisation of his home village of Cookham and his fusion of the menial and the miraculous. Sex and saints, dirt and angels, the sacred and the profane: all these were melded together by his extraordinary sense of pattern and design. ...

Published to coincide with the Carrick Hill exhibition Stanley Spencer: a twentieth century British Master, on now.

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Stanley Spencer
The Art of Science

Nicolas Baudin’s voyagers 1800-1804

Jean Fornasiero, Lindl Lawton, John West-Sooby

It was one of the most lavishly equipped scientific expeditions ever to leave Europe. At the dawn of the nineteenth century, French navigator Nicolas Baudin led two ships carrying 22 scientists and more than 230 officers and crew on a three-and-a-half-year voyage to the 'Southern Lands', charting coasts, studying the natural environment and recording encounters with indigenous peoples.

Inspired by the Enlightenment's hunger for knowledge, Baudin's expedition collected well in excess of 100,000 specimens, produced more than 1500 drawings and published the first complete chart of Australia.

Baudin's artists, Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit, painted a series of remarkable portraits of Aboriginal people and produced some of the earliest European views of Australian fauna. An integral part of the French scientific project, these exquisite artworks reveal the sense of wonder this strange new world inspired.
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The Art of Science
Franz Kempf

Aspects of a Journey 1947-2016

John Neylon, Franz Kempf

In the year of the renowned artists 90th birthday, Franz Kempf: Aspects of a journey gathers together many of Kempf's finest works from the 1940s to today, including treasures from his private collection. John Neylon's illuminating essay considers the qualities that give Kempf's oeuvre a distinctive identity within Australian art, 'characterised by this seeming contradiction of constancy and flux'. ...
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Franz Kempf
Catherine Truman

Touching distance

Melinda Rackham, Catherine Truman

Catherine Truman's practice has a palpable anatomy. Silken threads, connecting gestures, forms and techniques, reach across time and location, between suites of more traditionally crafted work and those that infiltrate and augment the scientific realm. The intertwining interdependent systems in her work articulate the relationships between the felt and experienced; the seen and unseen; between medium and production. ...

View the Catherine Truman feature on SA Life

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Catherine Truman
101 Nights

Ray Ollis, Robert Brokenmouth

The bombing campaign to destroy Hitler's Nazi Germany was waged by Allied flyers from not only England and the US, but also with many Australian men like Ray Ollis. Flying as a navigator, Ray was assigned to 101 Squadron operating the famed Lancaster bomber, fitted with the latest electronic warfare measures.

Ray Ollis's lightly fictionalised record of his own experiences flying over the heart of Germany at night provides a gripping account of this critical phase of history.

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101 Nights
Not the Same Sky

A novel

Evelyn Conlon

By 1848 famine has ravaged Ireland, and London remains undecided about what to do. A shortage of female labour in Australia offers a kind of solution and so, over the following two years, more than 4000 Irish girls are shipped across vast oceans to an unimaginable world in the new colony. On Sunday 28 October 1849, one of these ships, the Thomas Arbuthnot, sets sail from Plymouth with a cargo of girls under the care of Surgeon-superintendent Charles Strutt. ...

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Not the Same Sky
One and All

Labor and the radical tradition in South Australia

Philip Payton

In this vivid account of the radical tradition in the Labor movement in South Australia, Philip Payton shows how the many thousands of people who emigrated from Cornwall to the newly-established colony in the nineteenth century brought their way of life with them. Overwhelmingly Methodist in religion, and united by their motto 'One and All', these Cornish migrants settled in the copper-mining districts of Burra, Kapunda and northern Yorke Peninsula. Here they laid the foundations for early trade unionism and an emergent Labor Party, culminating in 1910 in the Premiership of John Verran (a Cornish miner) who formed the very first social democratic Labor government anywhere in the world. Contributing to the unique character of Labor in South Australia, the Cornish helped craft the State's distinctive radical tradition, an enduring impact which Don Dunstan readily acknowledged in the 1970s and 1980s, and whose legacy is still apparent in the early twenty-first century. ...

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One and All
Coast to Coast

A family walk across India

Nick Petrucco

Ten family members covering three generations (including five children under the age of thirteen) left their comfortable lives in Australia to walk across India, from west to east, a journey of over 800 kilometres. Walking the roads and paths of rural and urban southern India, they immersed themselves in the sights, smells and sounds of this rich and colourful country. Supported by ChildFund Australia, they aimed to raise money and awareness of the plight of children and their families in some of the poorest regions of the world. Coast to Coast tells how they achieved this and so much more – and inspired others to seek their own extraordinary family adventure. ...

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Coast to Coast
Australia

A German traveller in the age of gold

Friedrich Gerstäcker, Peter Monteath

Friedrich Gerstäcker, the most illustrious and prolific of German travel writers, set foot in Australia in March 1851, having walked across the Andes, traipsed the goldfields of California, and sailed over the Pacific in search of new adventures.

Gerstäcker found adventures aplenty in Australia. He rowed and trekked down the Murray, absorbed the excitement triggered by the discovery of gold, visited his countrymen in South Australia, and trained his outsider's eyes on a colonial society gripped by profound change. ...

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Australia