- Ray Crooke
- Thursday Island
- oil on composition board
- 61 x 76 cm
signed lower right: R Crooke
© Courtesy the Estate of Ray Crooke
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Following a period in the army which took him to North Queensland and Borneo, Crooke worked and lived on Thursday Island in the early 1950s before he eventually settled in Cairns in the 1960s. His atmospheric paintings of island life have become as synonymous for Crooke as for Gauguin, and are marked by a quiet sensitivity and genuine affection for his subjects. The figures are anonymous, a feeling further promoted by the usually flattened surfaces, the silhouette fostered by the actual experience of the tropical light. There is a sense that the viewer is a voyeur, allowed a glimpse into a secret island life.