Adventure Bay- Ken Cowell

At the time of painting this show Ken Cowell had a studio looking out onto Adventure Bay, on Bruny Island, where the light is sublime and the weather is changeable.

In the later nineteenth century Adventure Bay became the site of a whaling station, and during the 19th and 20th century it was used by the timber industry. Sheltered from all but strong north-easterly winds, the township of Adventure Bay at the southern end of the bay itself was the site of both extensive timber mills and a long jetty from where seagoing vessels could load timber. Dangerously exposed to north-easterly gales, several ships were driven ashore and wrecked there, the largest being the 241-ton barque Natal Queen in 1909.

This suite of paintings imagines the days when the Natal Queen was lost. Painterly and expressive, the technique uses restrained colour while exploiting tonal contrast. Achingly beautiful, each work is a door through which we can view past and present, masterfully painted in lustrous oils.