Robert MacPherson: Boss Drovers
The project is dated 14 February 1947. Robert Pene has an obsession: he endlessly catalogues boss drovers in portraits that vividly evoke the resilient, determined spirit of the rugged individuals responsible for moving thousands of livestock and teams of stockmen and cooks along the great pastoral stock routes of Australia, travelling over vast distances from station to market, or finding feed and water in times of drought.
View a selection of 200 individual drawings from BOSS DROVERS 1996–2014, all deliberately executed as if by the hand of a ten-year-old. Over a 20-year period, Robert MacPherson made these in the guise of his alter ego, Robert Pene, a grade four student at St Joseph’s Convent, Nambour, Queensland.
Image credit: Robert MacPherson, Australia b. 1937. 1000 Frog Poems: 1000 Boss Drovers (“Yellow Leaf Falling”) For H.S. (detail, no. 2400) 1996-2014 / Graphite, ink and stain on paper / 2400 sheets: 30 x 42.5cm (each). Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, Paul and Susan Taylor, and Donald and Christine McDonald. Courtesy the artist and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA.