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Temporal frontiers and boundaries in colonial images of the Australian landscape

This chapter addresses the ways in which a discourse of temporality is inherent or implied within colonial representations of Aboriginal people in the Australian landscape. It examines the ways in which colonial discourses confine Aboriginality within an uncolonised landscape that is antithetical to colonised Australia. The chapter explores some of the ways in which discourses of a natural, prehistoric Aboriginality inform colonial representations of the Australian landscape and its inhabitants, both indigenous and immigrant. It also examines a selection of paintings from the nineteenth century in order to illustrate some different ways in which Aboriginal relationships with the landscape were conceived and revealed by colonial artists. The painting succeeds in combining classicism with the uniquely Australian motif of an Aboriginal person, thus merging European aestheticism with both Aboriginality and Australian symbolism.

in Colonial frontiers