Saturday, 7 January 2012
Breaking the ice with the Endeavour
Thomas Cook and his crew "discovered" Australia and New Zealand in this ship, essentially altering history in one small, unremarkable, floating wooden container. The ship wasn't even made for the voyage, the Earl of Pembroke was a merchant collier (cargo ship) before it was bought by the Royal Navy and renamed the HM Bark Endeavour. Nor was the voyage intended for discovery, it was officially intended to track something called the transit of Venus, a celestial event that was used to measure the size of the universe by taking measurements with triangulation. This is of course not unimpressive but potentially finding another continent was fairly low on the to-do-list. During the voyage it was home to 94 crew members, pigs, chickens, two greyhounds and a goat. It was shipwrecked, repaired, venerated, and was the first image of western civilization creeping over the horizon for many people.
As an illustrator as opposed to a fine artist, my aim is to convey information in a simple and mindful way. With all of the information above, much more research, hundreds of photos and about 200 hours of dedication this illustration came to be. I wanted to show the tiny, intimate cabins of the captain, first lieutenant, and Joseph Banks in addition to the hull and part of the main areas of the ship inhabited by the crew. The intricacy and pure purpose of the ship is still so beautiful.
I hope that in the future I can recreate this amalgamation of interest, history, personal insight, illustration and pure information. In retrospect being defined by this isn't quite so bad, I shall try to maintain it.