David Martin curating an exhibition celebrating 200 years of Hastings landscapes

A collection of about 40 artworks is being prepared by local historian and author David Martin.

A collection of about 40 artworks is being prepared by local historian and author David Martin.

An art exhibition 200 years in the making will be held at the Port Macquarie-Hastings Library from July 15-29.

This month (April) marks two centuries since the first European-style landscape artworks were created of the Hastings region by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King in 1819.

To recognise and celebrate the milestone, a collection of about 40 artworks is being prepared by local historian and author David Martin.

The exhibition, 200 Years of Hastings Landscapes, will include reproductions (particularly of the older paintings, etchings and sketches) as well as original artworks.

"Where a facsimile is necessary, I aim to create the best reproduction possible," Mr Martin said.

"This involves travelling to Canberra, Sydney or Brisbane to examine the original items, as well as commissioning high resolution digital scans of them whenever possible. I would like to create the impression that the viewer is actually looking at drawings and paintings that are approaching 200 years old. I want them to be able to see the individual brush strokes or the cracks in the canvas.

"Of course, original artworks are being used wherever possible, particularly towards the end, which is a showcase of the work of some of the region's finest artists today."

He is also making a deliberate attempt to represent the region as evenly as possible - geographically, historically and socially. Following the event, the older artworks will be available for loan as a collection, making it possible to easily organise similar events showcasing localised talent in different settlements around the region.

Enquiries should be directed to David Martin on 0410 594 370 or by email at portmacquarie200@gmail.com.

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