This anchor is likely to be one of two from a shipwreck called the Charles Eaton which is situated on the Great Detached Reef in Far North Queensland. The Charles Eaton was wrecked on 15th August 1834 but for more than a year, nothing was heard of her passengers and crew. Gradually word started to spread in many and scattered countries that some were still alive but in captivity as slaves. Two ships were commanded by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to ascertain the fate of the survivors and rescue them. Tigris was despatched from Bombay and Isabella from Sydney in 1836. Following is an extract the story and fate of the Charles Eaton and her passengers and crew.
The Wreck of the Charles Eaton (ref: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/4443589 )
A CENTURY-OLD TRAGEDY -By "C. CORAL."
One of the saddest tragedies of the straits was the wreck of the Charles Eaton in 1834. She was a 313 ton barque commanded by Captain G. F. Moore. She left Brisbane for Canton on July 29. A little more than a fortnight later she was wrecked while trying to get through the reefs near the Charles Hardy group of islands, out from Cape Grenville. In addition to the officers and crew therewere about a dozen passengers on board among whom were Captain D'Oyley of the East India Company's Artillery, with his wife and two boys and a native Indian servant. When the vessel crashed she fell broadside on. Two of the boats smashed, leaving only one, into which three seamen jumped, with the carpenter and boatswain, but the captain and officers re-solved to stay on the ship as they felt sure that the boat would have no chance. Soon the barque became a hopeless wreck.
The upper part held together, however, and there the greater number of the passengers and crew found foothold. A raft was constructed; it was not very large and could carry only nine people, but upon it were placed Captain D'Oyley and his family, with some other passengers and one or two officers. A week later another raft left the ship carrying 17 persons, including the steward's boy, John Ireland and another boy named Sexton.
The Boy Survivors
For more than a year the fate of the Charles Eaton was unknown. Then there drifted to Sydney stories of the arrival at Timor and Batavia of four of the men who had escaped in the boat. The captain of a ship passing trough Torres Strait reported too, that he had seen a white boyon an island living with the natives. Immediately the Government of New SouthWales fitted out rescue ship, the Isabella, in the hope that there might be survivors of the Charles Eaton. The East India Company despatched the sloop Tigris on a similar errand. The two search vessels met at Double Island, in Torres Strait, after the Isabella had successfully accomplished her mission and had recovered two of the boys -- the only two survivors – from Murray Island. The mournful tale was then told.
The two boy's were John Ireland and William D'Oyley. What happened to the first raft that left the ship will never be with certainty, for of its company of nine all were killed except the two D'Oyley boys. Probably it shared the fate of the second raft. This, after being at sea for two days and nights, drifted among some of the small islands along the east coast. A canoe was sighted in which a dozen or so natives could be seen. They seemed to be friendly and the castaways were taken to an island in the vicinity.
Thoroughly exhausted, hungry, and without water, the unfortunate people lay down to sleep. Then the natives clubbed them to death, and removed the heads of their victims, sparing only Ireland and Sexton, the two youngest. Once more the canoe was launched, and, with their ghastly trophies and living captives, the islanders set sail for their home in Torres Strait. Every year at the end of the North West monsoon the fierce and warlike islanders-then generally known as "Indians"- of Murray and other Torres Strait islands made journeys 200 miles or more down the coast in then canoes, trading and seeking heads and returning with the South East trades. Apparently this canoe was one of a flotilla, for when it arrived at the island of Aureed other canoes had already preceeded it, among them one carrying the two D'Oyley lads. Here the whole party remained for some weeks. A redistribution was made, one canoe departing with Ireland and the two year old D'Oyley boy, the other taking Sexton and the elder brother. From then on the boys of the second party were never traced, although the people of Darnley and neighbouring islands, who have had the circumstances of the affair handed down to them by the old people, tell one that the four lads were remembered as having been in the islands for some time and that two were taken away before the Isabella rescued the survivors at Murray. The two lads of the first party, however were taken to Marsden Island, in the central part of Torres Strait, and it was there that a Murray Islander and his wife saw them and, according to the stories of the native rescued them in exchange for bunches of bananas. Their new owners treated them kindly; in fact when the rescue ship came and ransomed the D'Oyley boy after having obtained the other survivors in exchange for tomahawks, he did not want to part from his foster mother.
When the Isabella came down to Aureed with her two ransomed captives aboard, on the way back to Sydney, she made a ghastly discovery. In a hut a large mask was discovered, shaped like a man's face and made of turtle shell. These skillfully made figures were used formerly for religious rites by the Torres Strait islanders. Once a year the people gathered at one of the chief islands to make their offerings of human heads at the "Feast of Augad-Au Ai" (the feast of the Great God). Acts a propitiation were made, and the young men ate human flesh to make them brave and strong in fight. Surrounding the large figure at Aureed, and lashed to it with rope evidently from some ship, were about a score of skulls. Most of them bore marks of violence. They were taken on boardthe Isabella, and in Sydney their European origin was certified. Almost certainly they were the skulls of the unfortunates of the rafts. They were interred, and in St. James's Church Sydney, a memorial tablet tells part of the melancholy story.
To-day there are no people living on Aureed but the other islands of Torres Strait
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For as long as I can remember, I have been able to effortlessly and accurately sketch or draw an object or persons likeness. I had an innate ability to look at a person or object, and accurately gauge the size, shape and colour, and distance, memorise that information and put it down on paper. As a child and teenager, I particularly loved to draw faces to obtain a realistic likeness to that person. This love also extended to drawing animals, and a lot of my teen years was spent drawing both from magazine photographs and from life. This expanded both to drawing from life and using my own photographs as reference.
Later, when I wanted to paint a landscape, building, or portrait of a person, I would complete a charcoal or pencil work as a preliminary study to work out composition, light and shade, and get a feeling for the subject. This enabled me to see things as they really are. Most of the time, my drawings were complete artworks in themselves.
Drawing dates back to pre-history and was the earliest form of non-verbal communication between humans. Drawing is a way to communicate thoughts and feelings, and enables us to see the world as it really is.
As Leonardo da Vinci once said,
“Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eyes, that is to say, darkness, light, body and colour, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.”
Some artists live in one part of the Universe of Art and explore a theme or themes. I have been strongly attracted to the exploration of different mediums, across the whole Universe of Art.
My early years involved mostly oil and charcoal, with forays into watercolour, pastel and acrylic. With these mediums, I explored landscapes, portraits, abstracts and surreal.
Recently, my life changed to allow more time for art, leading me into vigorous exploration of new areas of art. My two major new areas are encaustic art using hot beeswax and resin art using epoxy resin. At the same time, my life also changed with my marriage to a scientist with an interest in astrophotography and, with him, I have explored combining star images with charcoal drawings to convey the meaning of the Universe of Stars.
Painting with hot beeswax:
The ancient Greek art of encaustic painting with hot beeswax is another major realm in the Universe of Art. Moving into a new house with a new husband gave me the opportunity to explore this exciting new art realm, since this form of art needs considerable work in establishing a dedicated studio and developing new and unusual art techniques.
From 2014 to 2016, I developed abstract, image transfer and realist works, the latter focussing on a shipwreck series, which culminated in a solo exhibition called “The Last Fleet” at the Gold Coast City gallery in 2016.
I have also used the image transfer variation of encaustic painting to produce a series based on Australian native birds.
Painting with resin:
Over the last year, I entered yet another new realm of the Universe of Art: painting with epoxy resin. Like encaustic painting, this art form needs a dedicated studio, specific equipment, new techniques and a new approach to art. I am still exploring new variations of this exciting new realm of the Universe of Art but this exciting new area has already led to another solo exhibition called “New Beginnings”, at the One Arts Gallery, Isle of Capri, Gold Coast Queensland in the month of May 2017.
What is resin?:
Epoxy Resin used in art is an adhesive, plastic material made from synthetic polymers and mixed with a hardener in a specific ratio which varies for different brands. Coloured pigments are added, and the mixture is generally poured onto a surface, mostly MDF, but sometimes other surfaces. When cured, it becomes a very tough and hard surface.
When resin, hardener and coloured pigments are mixed, it is in a fluid form and extremely sticky – a bit like honey. An artist has to work very quickly to achieve their art with resin as it starts to cure after about 40 minutes – although it is possible to work a little longer before it becomes more like toffee. Then it must be left undisturbed until at least the next day before progressing further with it.
Frequently I work with multiple layers to achieve incredible depth, so depending upon how many layers I use, a good artwork can take several days to develop. The affects achieved with resin depend upon various ways that it is applied to the surface, and each artist develops their own techniques for manipulating the fluid medium to get the effects they want. There is much more involved than just “throwing coloured resin onto a surface”. An artist needs to develop a lot of skill to develop a unique and beautiful work.
Applying heat either with a torch or heat gun is an important step for proper curing of the resin and hardener mix. Proper mixing and exact volumes of resin and hardener are required for adequate curing. Whilst it becomes quite solid to touch within 5 to 7 hours, it requires up to 48 hours for a complete cure.
Epoxy Resin requires a moderate level of safety precautions to avoid contact with the skin and eyes as well as avoiding the accumulation of vapours in the room. I wear protective clothing, nitrate gloves, and work in a room with cross-flow ventilation and when using solvents, a carbon mask.
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