The Back Verandah
The Back Verandah
Inkjet on watercolour paper
80 x 60 centimeters

Russell Drysdale’s 1942 painting, The Back Verandah, is a fairly minor yet charming work typical of the Australian outback subjects that he was known for. It is a portrait of a blue collar family seen at the back of their traditional Australian weatherboard cottage replete with a bench casually draped with a bed sheet, a millet broom, a towel hung on a nail hammered into the boards and discarded car tyres reused for plant pots in the dusty backyard.

I have always had a fondness for this painting because its subject matter is familiar to me from the time spent living in the Australian bush in the 1950s when I was a child. This reimagining also serves as a reminder of the former mythologising of rural Australia before this country's population became resolute urban coastal dwellers.

Russell Drysdale | Queensland Art Gallery