Robert MacPherson
Boss Drovers

29 Sep 2018 – 24 Feb 2019
QAG | Gallery 14 | Free

View a selection from BOSS DROVERS 1996–2014 which comprise 2400 individual drawings, 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 4 student at St Joseph’s Convent, Nambour, Queensland. The project is dated 14 February 1947, and each sheet is stained to give it an aged patina.

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.

Boss Drovers will tour to regional venues in Queensland from January 2019: Dogwood Crossing Miles | Logan Art Gallery | Artspace Mackay | Perc Tucker Regional Art Gallery Townsville | Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery | Redland Art Gallery | Gympie Regional Gallery | Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery | Caboolture Regional Art Gallery | Warwick Art Gallery | Hervey Bay Regional Art Gallery


Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. (detail) 1996–2014

Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. (detail) 1996–2014 / Graphite, ink and stain / 2400 sheets / Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, Paul and Susan Taylor, and Donald and Christine McDonald / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist.

Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. (detail) 1996–2014

Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. (detail) 1996–2014 / Graphite, ink and stain / 2400 sheets / Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, Paul and Susan Taylor, and Donald and Christine McDonald / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist.

Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. (detail) 1996–2014

Robert MacPherson, Australia b.1937 / 1000 FROG POEMS: 1000 BOSS DROVERS (“YELLOW LEAF FALLING”) FOR H.S. (detail) 1996–2014 / Graphite, ink and stain / 2400 sheets / Purchased 2014 with funds from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, Paul and Susan Taylor, and Donald and Christine McDonald / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist.

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