A Thousand Miles beyond: the equine painting of hugh sawrey

HUGH Sawrey was one of Australia’s most popular painters. A reputation accrued over the course of a professional career stretching from the turn of the 1960’s in Queensland until his death at Benalla, Victoria in 1999. He was the epitome of the lone, hardworking, driven artist, ensconced in an isolated studio putting out work after work. His specialty was a wide array of genre works documenting regional Australia; ranging from scenes derived from his personal experiences living and working in the countryside to images inspired by Australian bush folklore and outback poetry.

Today he is known for his outback station vistas, droving scenes, shearing shed operations and countless images of horses and this book will focus exclusively on paintings that featured them. But it should be noted that he was a master of a wide array of material encompassing beach, boats and broiling ocean, aircraft, aboriginal ceremonies and highland villages in New Guinea. He painted river gums, stony deserts, mountain ranges and rolling farm land. From the beginning he was fascinated by human activity in work and play and enjoyed painting court room dramas, back lane fist fights, bar room scenes, parties and oil drilling operations to mention but a few. Sawrey was also a competent portraitist, painting people from all walks of life including stockmen, cameleers, and ballet dancers to gallerists and sports people. His paintings and drawings were published in a least a dozen books and later in his career, he compiled a vast collection of sketches recording aspects of contemporary Queensland which accompanied the writings of journalist Laurie Kavanagh.

Kavanagh was one of a number of writers from the country’s papers and magazines who enjoyed writing about Sawrey at length. So, it’s a little disappointing, viewed in hindsight, how much of this copy was repetitive. They tended to focus almost exclusively on his colourful outback working life, gregarious personality, reputation as story teller and raconteur. It was well meaning for the most part and certainly didn’t hurt his popularity, but he was not simply some visual anthropologist making simple recordings of a disappearing way of life, he was an artist imbued with interesting working processes, techniques and influences which were rarely touched upon. The dominant narrative continued to portray him as some type of self-taught savant, the battler made good, flicking two fingers up at the cultural big wigs and so on, right up to the day he died. Part of the reason lay with him, he was a private person and found that dwelling on his working processes was distracting[i] and part of it came down to the journalists themselves.

No casual reader of The Australian or The Courier Mail wanted snivelling art analysis or in-depth examination of working methods, they wanted a cracking read at breakfast and the columnists gave it to them. It is a shame, because over time Sawrey came to reside increasingly on the outside of Australian art culture due to this well worn populist angle, and his works came to be seen as reactionary, dwelling on a regional past out of step with contemporary painting.

And despite receiving various critical reviews over the years (not all of them glowing) art writers tended to occupy different habitats to the newspaper columnists who championed him. The result, with the exception of the writings of art and visual culture historian Glenn Cooke, is a situation where Hugh Sawrey had been left academically overlooked. Sawrey made out, with his usual hint of laconic bravado, that he didn’t care about the opinions or attention of the so-called ‘art establishment’. Nonetheless this exclusion rankled him.

Regardless of this situation, Sawrey was known in certain quarters as a painter’s painter. John Perceval was an admirer of his work[ii] and during the period of his professional emergence in the early sixties he was considered by some to be a logical successor to Russel Drysdale in his depictions of rural and outback life. Drysdale himself said that Sawrey “sees the character and environment with a simplicity I envy. Hard to stay as free as he does and get the message over so strong.”[iii] Collector Jack Manton responding to Hugh Sawrey’s work at an early exhibition at Southern Cross Gallery in Melbourne said, “As Munnings for the British and Remington for the Americans were revered and honoured for their action equine paintings so I am sure that posterity has that same plan for Sawrey.”[iv]  

“horses are a powerful archetype and the presence of the horse under saddle, plough or armour has come to encapsulate the very idea of progress, control and the vanities of their owners..”

AS mentioned, this book will focus exclusively on those horse paintings, not to the detriment of all the other pictures from this prolific artist. It simply keeps the book (and discussions therein) to a manageable size. And today, this diverse folio of equine art, in all its moods and manifestations, has emerged as the most important aspect of Hugh Sawrey’s output that has been left to Australian, indeed international, easel painting.

In every industrialised society, the horse has largely disappeared, and generally only remains to serve the activities of sport and recreation. Despite this, they still retain a strong presence in the consciousness of humans across the world. And for artists the concept of the horse, beyond its utilitarian practicalities, has likewise been an irresistible inspiration for centuries.  From the time horses were first domesticated in central Asia 8000 years ago and the spread of their use into China, the Middle East and Europe the horse has moved in lockstep with the prosperity of the cultures that utilised them. They are a powerful archetype and the presence of the horse under saddle, plough or armour has come to encapsulate the very idea of progress, control and the vanities of their owners.

Australian culture was no different. Horses came with the first fleet and quickly became established in the colony with over 200 roaming around the Sydney regions by 1800. They were a transplant that took immediately[v] and ultimately became the symbol of European subjugation of the land to their own image, to wit: where horses could reach so too could the tempering effects of ‘civilization’. National Gallery of Victoria curators Laurie Benson and Ted Gott pointed out the contribution of local painters to this nation building project in the NGV exhibition catalogue The Horse. “Many artists have portrayed the horse’s key role in Australian history and the shaping of the nation’s identity. The animal is so pivotal to the country that it has been romanticised and used to symbolise the unique Australian character.”[vi]

Sawrey extended this horse-mounted nation shaping almost to the present day and he made it clear that it was second nature for him to paint them and paint them well.[vii] His forebears were English animal painters of the 18th century including Sawrey Gilpin (1733–1807), James Seymour (1702–1752) and George Stubbs (1724–1806), who would influence colonial artists such as Frederick Woodhouse (1820–1909) and his racing paintings or depictions of rural prosperity in works by TW McAlpine (d. 1889). No doubt there was a market in the settled areas of the country for paintings of well dressed riders atop groomed horses bounding through green rolling hills. But such works in the equine tradition of Europe reeked of theatrical artifice to anyone who had spent life in the saddle on Australia’s frontier west of the great divide. It was the catalyst for an expression in local visual art that better reflected an emerging national identity

Encouraged by patriotic magazines such as The Bulletin, white Australians at the end of the 19th century liked to see themselves as an egalitarian and classless society, fit, free, tough and hardworking, forging a new land. Their horses, as they spread across the interior became part of this nationalist narrative. Such equine iconography can be seen most prominently via the works of the impressionist painter Tom Roberts (1856–1931) including his massive mounted stockman work A Break Away! (1891) and Bailed Up (1895) delving into the Australian outlaw bushranger mythos.

Never was there a better means to place horse and rider into a true Australian landscape than via the struggles of a grubby shepherd, or a highwayman crime drama and there is no doubt that Sawrey, having viewed the paintings either on show or in print drew some vital inspiration from these famous works. However, oil paintings held in State galleries were not his exclusive pictorial source. It is important to remember just how much artists such as Lionel Lindsay and Frank Mahony, whose pen illustrations of galloping stockmen, Cobb and Co coach drivers and other rural Australiana, would have been immediately accessible to this budding painter. He was also greatly influenced by Australian war artists George Lambert and Septimus Power and their images of the Australian Light Horse Brigade held at the Australian War Memorial including; The Charge of The Light Horse at Beersheba (1920) and Bringing up the Guns (1917). Those and their peacetime works such as Lambert’s Across the Black Soil Plains (1899) and Power’s many studies of draught horses. We can also include artists of the American wild west such as Charles Russell (1864–1926) and Frederic Remington (1861–1909). But more about North American influences later.

By the first decades of the 20th century much of coastal Australia was consolidated into a handful of large urban centres and the figure of the working stockman making their way in the harsh conditions of the interior had slipped from the arts imagination. The Australian environment had been, in the words of academic Margaret Plant, “Gathered-in…and during these years Australian landscape painting forsook the frontier country, the terrain of the pioneer. Instead, the favoured view was of homestead paddocks with milking cows casting long shadows in early morning or twilight.”[viii]

Plant goes on to explain that this trend was an English derived view of a rural arcadia that held a great influence over Australian pictorial realism up to the early 1940s until the “territorial annexing of Central Australia in the work of Sidney Nolan and Russel Drysdale…Such art was, in a sense, a return to the frontier paradigm.”[ix]

By the end of the Second World War, Australia was experiencing another spasm of national identity growth, this time to do away with the yoke of English paternalism, which was becoming a little tiresome after the disappointments of WWII. And with images of the interior, such as the documentation of drought conditions by Drysdale and Nolan in western NSW and QLD, lay a means of articulating this revised identity, even if few urbanised Australians had ever experienced the regions for themselves. Such images suggested that much of the land remained unformed and the bitumen road, the measure of modern progress did not reach all that far inland before one fell off the edge of the world to be confronted with an underpopulated, little understood environment that was both alien and fascinating to those on the coastal fringes. It was clear that fine art was again required to supply images of the regions beyond the black stump to reorientate our antipodean identities. And Hugh Sawrey must have realised early on that he was well placed to supply them.

“Sawrey had been living in the bush on and off since he was a teenager and knew the environment from a local’s perspective. This fact brought a crucial aura of authenticity to his works..”

IT had been noted many times that Sawrey was an untrained painter, free of the academy and unfettered by the bonds of formal study, but he did notmaterialise fully formed from the bush as a master artist. The reality was he struggled over many years to develop his basic skills in between working for a living. His murals, scattered across a chain of Queensland pubs, are the most well known of his initial efforts. They do show that his interest in regional and folklore themes was there from early on, but they are rough, lack essential detail and often his materials were little better than house paint applied with whatever tatty brush he could find.

Furthermore, laying out cartoons across a large area of hotel wall is in some way much easier than working within the restrictive boundaries of a picture frame and he encountered real challenges as he sought to transfer his loose intuitive style to canvas. The person that helped him the most to achieve this was an elderly Brisbane artist by the name of Caroline Barker. Caroline Barker (who also taught Margaret Olley and Betty Churcher) was a painter with a rich history. She attended the National Gallery School in Melbourne under Frederick McCubbin as a teenager and later studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in London under Frederick Cayley Robinson and Charles Sims. She was instrumental in giving Sawrey a good foundation in the use of oil paint as well as an essential grounding in structure and composition.

As well as his training with Barker he also attended regular life drawing classes held by Archibald prize winner Jon Molvig and they most certainly helped Sawrey to improve his figure studies and underdeveloped anatomy skills. And while we cannot be sure about the exchange of ideas between these two painters, this quote from Molvig regarding his personal influences could easily have been uttered by Hugh Sawrey. “I’m a regional painter. I paint what I know, what I’ve experienced. If you are not influenced by your environment what are you influenced by?”[x]

By the time he secured his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the Grand Central Gallery he was well into his 40s, a very late start for an emerging artist. But his reputation has already been growing as a bonafide outback painter. And unlike those who viewed their outback muses with the eye of city-based artists, Sawrey had been living and working in the bush on and off since he was a teenager and knew the environment from a local’s perspective. This fact brought a crucial aura of authenticity to his works that stuck a positive note with his small, growing band of collectors.

To emphasise his knowledge of his outback subjects, Sawrey made sure his titles included specific place names and his exhibition room sheets were a unique view into the life of a working station hand with titles such as; Washing Days in the Quarters: Nockatunga, Night Watch on Vestey Cattle, On Camp: Diamantina Lakes, The Min Min Light over Burenda Yards and The Illaqually Feller. By doing so he was declaring the veracity of his images; sure, anyone could learn to paint a horse, get the angles and weight right, make sure everything was in its place, his titles stated emphatically I Saw This and carried an authority that could transcend mere technique or style.

And he needed that authenticity because he could not rely exclusivley on skill to carry his works everytime. The fact was, Sawrey’s early output in oils were characterised by experiment and could be very uneven. His newly acquired training helped him immensely, but he was still struggling with the task of getting the images in his mind to find purchase on canvas. In interviews he often referred to a photographic memory and making constant mental records of ‘the movement of a particular horse’ and ‘the way a certain stockman sauntered.’[xi] However it is evident in early works such as The Rough ‘Un, that the essential elements Sawrey was working with were still in the process of finding a full cohesion.

Despite this, he was on a clear trajectory, his pictorial language was developing quickly and the use of oils to form abstract surfaces held a great attraction to him. He understood just how much freedom it offered for ethereal effects and dramatic atmosphere without getting bogged down in stiff academic detail. This interest in abstraction gradually separated into two main paths: a move towards all over colour field effects and an interest in highly textured surfaces built up wet in wet with brush and pallet knife. Two works sharing similar titles and painted several years apart exhibit these parallel directions.

Cattleman (fig 1), is a monochromatic painting where the dominant colour is a rich ochre. There is no delineation between foreground and background, no suggestion of sky or any other palpable detail to indicate time or place. It is quite simply a mood. There are suggestions of trees, fences, horse and rider which remain indistinct and the stock moving before him are little more than shifts of paint. And a flick of a brush is all that indicates a dog walking alongside them. The later Cattleman: Canarvon Station (fig 2), is an action work and sees Sawrey experimenting much more with heavy woven textures of paint. The background moves from umber and tones of ochre and crimson to a broken sky of cerulean blue split by a ragged ridge line. The fury of the scene is augmented by swirls of wet in wet texture of cadmium red, orange and brilliant flake white.

(fig 1) Cattleman
(fig 2) Cattleman Canarvon Station

Sawrey produced numerous works exploring these two streams of painterly expression, but he was now ready to shift over to rendering the immense backdrops to all those moments, lost in time, still held in his memory. By the end of the 1960’s he was consolidating his landscape painting skills and the backgrounds began to shift from muted emptiness to ones of ever-expanding detail; bringing to life all those years he passed in the saddle studying rock formations, trees, shrubs and effects of weather. Haze and dust gave way to a strong delineation between sky and ground with a strong illusory depth, dominated by red earth and dramatic clouds full of portent.

“the ragged sky frames a wild horse overlooking its band; mounted like Bucephalus upon a ragged ridge of cadmium orange and raw umber..”

THE source of this developing direction in Sawrey’s art can be found readily in the works of the English landscape painters John Constable (1776 – 1837) and Joseph Turner (1775 – 1851). He found a special affinity with these proto romantics and their fascination with dramatic expressions of sturm and drang and their French acolytes of the Barbizon school including Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet and Charles-François Daubigny. Brumbies Run NW of Beetoota (fig 3), is a good example of this direction; featuring a heavy, rain sodden sky cultivated with slabs of Prussian blue, dragged over with broken highlights and masses of grey. The sky frames a wild horse overlooking its band mounted like Bucephalus upon a ragged ridge of orange and raw umber, with flicks of vegetation and scribbly trees breaking up the foreground and giving depth to the overall composition.

(fig 3) Brumbies Run NW of Betoota

One of the most impressive of his Romanticism derived works would have to be Brush Turkey Parting the Mob, Mustering on the Diamantina. (fig 4). It is a large work framed by a heavy foreground of red and black and a sickly sky of heavy brushwork full of diluted greens, blues, purple and crimson. Light is breaking through the clouds in a Turnerish glow of pink and white illuminating the centre of the work with an unearthly glow. It draws our attention a ground dwelling bird defending its nest and causing the parting of a slow-moving mob of cattle. The workers moving the cattle are little more than ciphers as insubstantial as the bare dead sapling mirroring them in the foreground.

(fig 4) Brush Turkey Parting a Mob

Interestingly enough, when looking at Sawrey’s landscapes as a group it appears that no particular time of day, vagary of weather, or aspect of the country ever gained the upper hand. Just when stormy skies in deep blues said ‘Sawrey’, he would try something new; as seen in The Bloke from Comongin, (fig 5), where he journeys into Fauvist territory with a drenching of purples, blues, reds and oranges. Or he would spread waves of orange and alizarin crimson through the atmosphere like some apocalyptic volcanic winter as found in a works such as The Ringers (fig 6). Later paintings like Charlies Ferguson’s Grey Gelding (fig 7), would feature expanses of purple afternoon sky or continue into dramatic nocturnes such as Under the Dog Star (fig 8). And in between them all he would make regular forays into the hallowed territory of Hans Heysen constructing droving scenes dominated by massive river gums of the channel country such as By the Blue Gums W QLD (fig 9).

While they may have been little more that flicks of paint at times Hugh Sawrey, with few exceptions, preferred to have his images populated. His paintings are no tabula rasa but sets for activity, industry and people at work. As someone who spent half their life caught in a litany of itinerant jobs around the bush it was of course logical to feature them in his paintings. It is clear that he had a great sympathy for the everyday working person black or white and their struggles with unforgiving environments, rough living conditions and poor wages and wanted them acknowledged. However, with the exception of The Last of Their Breed, Aboriginal Stockmen on Wave Hill, NT (Fig 10), a representation of indigenous stockmen working for Vesteys at the time of the Wave Hill walk offs, he never permitted his art to be a conduit for overt social/political commentary but just a demonstration of fact: This is how it looked to be in certain place at this time.

Nonetheless Sawrey’s workers soon acquired a heroic romantic tinge; the free unfettered horseman, the wanderer of the back country, a 20th century incarnation of the frontier rider straight out of a poem by Banjo Patterson or Will Ogilvie. But the reality remained that they were wage labourers at the bottom of the social ladder. And like Millet and his gleaners before him Sawrey emphasises their anonymity and their marginalised positions. They were consistently scrawny, thin legged, hunched over and lost in vast landscapes; given over to the demands of a vast machine beholden to the industries of sheep and cattle production. Sure, they may appear as free and independent as nomads but only as long as the job was done to the remote land holder’s satisfaction. And there they remained, scattered to the ends of the earth, with no indication of a beginning or end. Sawrey places his figures in rough tents (A Thousand Miles Beyond fig 11), or beside isolated water holes (Watering The Mob (fig 12), or they are found in the saddle with pack horses in tow or at some undefined moment during a tedious mustering job far from safety, family or whatever passed for sanctuary.

Horses on the other hand were an entirely different matter. While their human charges remained similar across countless images, Sawrey’s horses evolved and grew ever more expressive. He approached the challenge of painting horses with gusto and each horse study he embarked upon was another opportunity to capture the essence of their being. And the trajectory of his animal subject’s painterly evolution is fascinating. In the beginning they were all arched necks and flailing tails and quite well rounded and small like ponies, their riders towering over them. Gradually they stretched and thinned out and took on the physiology of the ‘ordinary’ Australian Stock Horse plain in looks and lacking ‘the fancy points – the lift of the tail, the arch of the neck’[xii] but strong and reliable as Ron Iddon described them in the 1993 book The Stockman.

And this rangy beast, high in the withers and narrow in the chest was his most familiar form though he did include the more rounded shapes of American Quarter Horses on occasion such as his work Gail Ritchie on Clover Ned Kelly (fig 57) and studies of draught horses pulling logs and wool bales. And now his working processes changed, he began to create his paintings by setting in thin ground washes, divided between earth and sky, a hint of a range in the distance upon which he could build up his effects. Sawrey could then set about filling in his scenes with whatever he fancied, gidgee scrub, river gums station buildings, stock yards and animals, all of which were falling onto the canvas in a more relaxed manner. In Watering the Mob (fig 13), the mix of horses and cattle are relaxed with flowing, heads, legs and bodies, simple flicks of the brush delineate ears, tails, legs and necks, the fall of a canvas swag, the throw of a saddle blanket. And the animals look tired from a day’s work, almost serene. Form and content now begin to work together in the emergence of classic Sawrey paintings.

In the 1970’s via his wife Gill, Hugh Sawrey became involved with raising American Quarter Horses which brought the cowboy culture of the south western United States into immediate proximity and the work of two of its most famous artists Frederick Remington and Charles Russell. These artists, working at the turn of the 20th century, took advantage of the emergence of the medium of photography, specifically the images of Eadweard Muybridge, which allowed artists to see for the first time how horses really moved at speed. With this new understanding of equine motion, they produced works doing away with the traditional rocking horse pose of running horses. And their many scenes of wild west action were as disruptive to the genre of European horse painting as Californian hot rods were to continental car culture of the 1950s. Hugh Sawrey, who grew up listening to old drover’s stories of the last runs of Cobb and Co, the exploits of bush rangers and great cattle drives, could easily see the parallels between these action paintings of the near mythical American west and that of Australia.

In response to such influences he researched the stories and legends of the wild colonial days, painting great stage coach paintings such as, possibly his most famous work, Fresh in the Traces (fig 33), with charging horses ready to spill out of the picture frame in a hail of stones. Or the monumental Quilty’s Men (fig 27), a highly detailed panorama of stockmen employed by cattle baron Sid Kidman tallying up their stock numbers, and his depictions of holdups such as Darkie Gardner’s Gang Robbing the Mail (fig 20). Horse drawn stage coaches only existed in museums by the time Sawrey put them to paint and he most certainly did not ever see a real bushranger holdup, but he threw as much theatrical drama into them as he could. Sawrey’s tableau is overhung by menacing trees, the criminals are masked and look dangerous, the victims have their hands held high. Slashes of orange dissect the middle ground emphasising that this is no gentleman’s reappropriation of wealth but a situation that could turn deadly at any time. 

Sawrey was certainly taking a leaf from the play book of American cowboy artists, but he wanted to stress the inherent differences between these two horse cultures. He made it clear in interviews[xiii] that it was not just the equipment that was different, it was the language as well. For example, Stations not ranches, mobs of cattle rushing to water, not herds stampeding etc. He also began to incorporate more and more detail into his paintings to emphasise those distinctions and retain the Australian identity of his subjects in the process. The Bronco Horse (fig 23), is a perfect example. This is no wild buck jumper by an American definition, but an Australian study of a highly regarded and strong horse used to coax steers from a mob for branding. The shear detail is astonishing right down to the proper orientation of the rope, its greenhide loop and the rider’s stirrups and boots. And above all, the horse, looking directly at the viewer is given absolute prominence and the entire painting revolves around its alert eye.

“back out west, the world Sawrey knew had faded away. In its place was paved roads, grey nomads towing caravans and young backpackers in rusty cars tramping the old stock routes..”

BY the turn of Sawrey’s final decade the legacy he strove so hard to record in paint had been achieved. And it was a good thing that he managed it, because the world he recorded for so many years had indeed rolled up and disappeared. And it was not just the outback, by this time, his beloved Surfers Paradise, a town he knew as a laid-back village of fibro houses and casual ambience where he had his first proper studio, had been redeveloped into an antipodean Costa Del Sol. His haunts in Brisbane, from Fortitude Valley to South Bank, the places where he caught mud crabs as a kid and observed sharks meandering up the Brisbane river was also long gone.

“back out west, he now saw paved roads, grey nomads crowding trailer parks and young European backpackers tramping the old stock routes. “

The lonely expanses of the rural frontier still remained but not the isolation that once shaped the lives of people who lived there.Meanwhile his reality was a family farm in north east Victoria, a place he quietly moved to in 1977 and a bolthole from his Queensland public persona. Life there was rainy winters and dry summers, in rolling hills at the base of the Great Divide and the snow-capped vista of Mt. Buffalo. Gallerists continued to make their demands: more action, more stage coaches, more wide brown lands, dust and mobs of cattle. And he made frequent trips back into Queensland attending openings and painting to perpetuate its memory for collectors and fans who continued to support his work. The trouble was this support was not reflected in many regional, state or national institutions. Hugh Sawrey remained quite simply outside their research parameters. In those circles he was known only as a documenter the regional past and that was not going to put him on the radar as a contributor of Australian important art.

But now, over 20 years since his death, Sawrey’s vast output of work can be allowed to exist on its own terms, free of the accompanying social/political context that ultimately bound him to a small reactionary part of the cultural spectrum. And since his passing, a new generation of people have been rediscovering his work without the commentary that influenced its reception during his life. Today his paintings, The Bronco Horse, The Overlander and all the rest can float free of their place in time and simply be what they are: lovingly realised representations of the animals, people and places he was most familiar with. It matters not if Hugh Sawrey images were tinged with a conservative nostalgia or considered populist fodder. Such criticisms have, like the old bullock wagons, faded away as well. Today an admirer of Hugh Sawrey’s art can come to the works with fresh eyes, accept whatever shortcomings there may be and appreciate them for what they are; an arresting part of Australia’s visual culture, not just its idealised past. And in the world of equine painting he will remain one of the genres most significant artists. It is his legacy, because like Russell before him, he knew the horse.


[i] This was an artist who when pushed would do 5am starts and work though to 9pm at night only pausing to eat.

[ii] The two artists kept up a regular correspondence over the years and even swopped paintings in the 1990’s

[iii] The Drysdale quote was included in Hugh Sawrey’s obituary 1999. It is not a primary source. It is believed the original quote came from Russel Drysdale in response to Sawrey’s work in the exhibition Life Outback at Strawberry Hill Gallery Sydney 1971

[iv] Jack Manton (1907-92) was an Australian retailer and art collector who assembled a huge art collection of Australian impressionist paintings.

[v] Ron Iddon, from The Stockman, edited by Nola Mallon Lansdowne Press 1984. Chapter 5 The Australian Stockhorse pg 189

[vi] Laurie Benson and Ted Gott. Introduction. The Horse published for the exhibition The Horse 14Aug – 8 November 2015 National Gallery of Victoria pg 6

[vii] Jill Bowen No Better Rider Ever Held A Brush from The Bulletin Magazine Apr 6 1982. Reprinted in Hugh Sawrey Outback, Currawong Press 1982

[viii] Margaret Plant ‘The lost art of Federation: Australia’s quest for modernism’, National Gallery of Victoria Art Journal no. 28 2014. Accessed June 2019

[ix] ibid

[x] Jon Molvig quoted in A Time Remembered: Art in Brisbane 1950 to 1975 by Glenn R Cooke. Chapter 1 Brisbane & Expressionism. Queensland Art Gallery Publication 1995 pg 38

[xi] Quote by Sawrey in a feature from People Magazine 1984

[xii] Ron Iddon from The Stockman, edited by Nola Mallon Lansdowne Press 1984. Chapter 5 The Australian Stockhorse. pg 196

[xiii] Specifically, ‘The Vision Splendid’ written by John Hay pg 32 The Sunday Mail Magazine, Feb 2 1987