The Forth hills were heavily wooded with eucalypt when James Fenton settled there in 1840. At the same time, 100 kms east, John Glover was painting Aborigines into his Tasmanian landscapes. Although by then George Robinson’s ‘friendly mission’ had already ‘cleared’ the land of its Aboriginal peoples. Fenton would soon clear the land of its timbers. Fenton is reputed to have pioneered the ring-barking technique for this purpose. As Fenton cleared the forest he revealed rich russet-coloured basalt soil, ideal for cropping.
Acrylic on canvas, diptych