'Otway night' by Jan Senbergs depicts the landscape of Victoria's south coast where the artist has regularly spent time. It was in this area that the famous escaped convict William Buckley lived with the Wathaurong people of the Geelong area from 1803–35. Buckley was depicted by Kwat Kwat artist Tommy McRae with both European and Aboriginal attributes in a series of drawings made in the late nineteenth century.
Senbergs has used this image in the centre of his painting, surrounded by a poetic evocation of the night-time landscape. On the left, the artist represents the sweeping coastline near Airey's Inlet and a view of Lorne under moonlight; on the right, Angahook Creek and the marshy flat of the Inlet. At the top of the composition is Senberg's homage to Arthur Boyd, with two lovers copulating in the bush.
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
198.0 x 259.0 cm stretcher; 201 x 262.0 x 4.5cm framed
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, grey oil "J. Senbergs '94".
Purchased with assistance from Ruth Komon 1994
Not on display
© Jan Senbergs
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Jan Senbergs: imagined sites, imagined reality, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Bulleen, 01 Aug 1994–18 Sep 1994
William Buckley: Rediscovered:
Jan Senbergs: from screenprints to painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Apr 2008–25 May 2008
Jan Senbergs: Observation/Imagination, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne, 18 Mar 2016–12 Jun 2016
Referenced in 4 publications
Brian Hubber, William Buckley: Rediscovered, 'William Buckley: Rediscovered. A Curator's perspective', pg. 26-29, Geelong, 2001, 29, 32. cat.no. 34
Hendrik Kolenberg, Jan Senbergs: Complete screenprints 1960-88, 'From screenprinter to painter', pg. 7-13, Sydney, 2008, 12 (illus.).
Patrick McCaughey, Voyage and landfall: the art of Jan Senbergs, 'The trackless bush and the mapped city 1995-2004', pg. 188-221, Carlton, 2006, 190 (colour illus.), 191.
Jan Senbergs and Hendrik Kolenberg, Jan Senbergs: imagined sites, imagined reality, Bulleen, 1994, front cover (colour illus.), 39. cat.no. 42