2. EDWARD ROPER
The present watercolour by the itinerant artist, illustrator and printmaker, Edward Roper, was included in the exhibition Australian and New Zealand, American and Canadian Oil Paintings and Watercolour Drawings held at the Burlington Gallery in London in 1886. In the catalogue accompanying this exhibition, this work, then titled Big One Corroboree, is described as ‘a festival amongst the Australian blacks’
Roper’s work typifies the manner in which traditional ceremonies and rituals were recorded by European artists in the nineteenth century. The location and subjects of the work are not identified however, Roper was known to have lived in Victoria between 1871-73 and travelled to the Grampians, the Dandenong Ranges and the Wimmera area. The figure on the left-hand side of the composition holds a Leangle club which is unique to the aboriginal people of western Victoria.