Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art

View More:


The Hunter and Collector



Rew Hanks


19 May 1958 -


The central figure of Joseph Banks in this linocut is loosely inspired by two prints -a 1773 mezzotint by J R Smith after Benjamin West's portrait of Banks and the 1774 mezzotint by William Dickinson after Joshua Reynolds' portrait. Like the West portrait, in which the figure of Banks is surrounded by ethnographic objects collected on the Endeavour voyage, Rew Hank's Banks is surrounded by a loose iconography of objects with connections to the central subject. Among these are the
eponymous Banksia flowers, May Gibb's wicked 'Banksia Men' and a prickly pear plant, the noxious weed first introduced to Australia at the suggestion of Banks in an attempt to create a local cochineal industry.The greyhounds, rifle and ray refer to Banks' method of collecting fauna specimens, while the skull of a merino sheep refers to Banks' post-exploration occupation as 'Master of the King's Flock'. In a jar can be seen the head of Pemulwuy, a warrior who has come to signify early Indigenous resistance to colonisation, and who participated in an initiation ceremony at yoo-lahng, or Farm Cove (site of the modern Gardens) in 1795. Following his death in 1802, Pemulwuy's head was reportedly decapitated and sent to England to Joseph Banks by t he Governor Philip King. Since lost, it was the subject of repatriation claims by Indigenous Australians, who in 2010 approached Prince William in Sydney advocating for its discovery and return.




Media category


Materials used

linocut, printed from one block in black ink on white BFK Rives paper




105.0 x 70.1 cm blockmark; 122.0 x 80.5 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Rew Hanks 2010".


Purchased with funds provided by the Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours Benefactors' Fund 2011


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Rew Hanks

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Rew Hanks, Rew Hanks linocuts: the Governor's garden, Sydney, 2011, 2 (illus.).

Anne Ryan., Foundation Newsletter #18, 'Australian PDW Report', Sydney, Jun 2011, (colour illus.).

Anne Ryan, Imprint, 'Rew Hanks, a year in the gardens', pg. 6, Melbourne, Autumn 2011, 6.