Jessie TRAILL, Standley Chasm, Northern Territory. Enlarge 1 /1


Brighton, Victoria, Australia 1881 – Emerald, Victoria, Australia 1967

  • England, Europe frequently after 1906

Standley Chasm, Northern Territory. 1928 Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper etching, printed in brown ink with plate-tone, from one plate Support: thin textured cream wove paper
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark.
Edition State: unpublished state
Impression: undesignated impression
Edition: edition unknown

Primary Insc: no inscriptions.
Secondary Insc: no inscriptions.
Tertiary Insc: Inscribed verso lower right in black pencil, '114',
Dimensions: plate-mark 25.5 h x 12.7 w cm sheet 31.2 h x 16.4 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1986
Accession No: NGA 86.1485
Subject: Australia, Art style: Painter-etchers 1860s-1938
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney, June 1986.

The perpendicular walls of the narrow Standley Chasm Angkale were a popular subject for many visiting artists, including Jessie Traill who featured it in an etching Standley Chasm, NT 1928 (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra).

Traill's composition uses the same starting point as Namatjira did in Standley Chasm (private collection, Alice Springs), a position within the gorge itself, which exposes a sapling angled across the gap. However, where she looks up, he gazes directly across, standing on higher ground. In his previous painting he included two large rocks in the floor of the chasm, obstacles that must be overcome to pass into the space beyond. Facing each other across the void, these rocks anchor and unite the pair of sheer walls.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra