KATHERINE HATTAM SELECTED AS A FINALIST IN THE SULMAN
KATHERINE HATTAM History and fiction, oil on linen, 154 x 154 cm (framed)
The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist. This years edition of the prize features 18 works in total including this incredible work from Katherine Hattam.
I am in an Australasian book group. We read Kate Grenville’s The lieutenant. I loved the book. Set in colonial Sydney, it tells/retells the moving story of William Dawes, a white astronomer, and Eora woman Patyegarang teaching one another their languages. Dawes’s notebooks are testament to this. Grenville fictionalises the story. Both Dawes and Watkin Tench, whose experiences with the First Fleet were republished in 1788, are given invented names. When The lieutenant was published, historians such as Inga Clendinnen (Dancing with strangers) were infuriated. I enjoyed all three books and the argument between those two ways of describing the world and wanted to celebrate that in this painting. – Katherine Hattam, 2020