Garden Island1924

by Douglas Dundas

Born in 1900 in Inverell, artist Douglas Dundas began painting with watercolours as a teenager. Moving to Sydney, he took evening art classes taught by Julian Ashton. His first exhibition was held in 1929 at Macquarie Galleries.

Garden Island had supported naval activities since the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, but officially became Australia’s principal naval base in 1904. The island was not yet joined to the foreshore — that occurred with the construction of the Captain Cook Graving (cleaning) Dock, completed in 1945.

When this work was painted, the courts were settling a dispute over the ownership of the island. It was decided that the island belonged to the NSW government and it was then sold to the Commonwealth after World War II.