Chores by Lake Kathleen

Place Oceania: Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Bougainville, Central Bougainville
Accession Number ART23576
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 45.4 x 61 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas on plywood
Maker Abbott, Harold
Place made Pacific Islands: Solomon Islands, Bougainville
Date made 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Situated just off the Perimeter Raod, this lake was the scene of much of the early fighting in Bougainville. It is typical of such lakes with their vivid greens and deep blues. The large tree on the right has the curious buttress-like roots common to many tropical trees; numerous accidents from falling trees, some fatal, proved that the roots of such trees scarcely penetrated below the surface. The lad shown on the right balances on the roots of a large tree while he converses with the other lad who is doing his washing in a leisurely fashion.

In a letter, the artist described the scene pictured as he experienced it:
"The air is heavy and perspiration runs freely so when there is no need for great energy it is seldom expended. This scene looks at first glance idyllic but there is something poisonous in the rich colouring, something evil in the way plant preys on plant, and there are many insects that pester if they do not actually sting".