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Interior scene in the Burra Mine
Title : Interior scene in the Burra Mine Interior scene in the Burra Mine
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Creator : Gill, S.T. (Samuel Thomas), 1818-1880, artist
Source : B 69728/2
Place Of Creation : South Australia
Date of creation : 1848
Format : Artwork
Dimensions : 95 x 110 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Interior of the mine, one of four scenes engraved for a newspaper page from the Illustrated London News 2 December 1848 and later hand-coloured, about the Burra Burra Copper Mine and based on the 1847 watercolour by ST Gill. A man in the foreground holding a candle may be Gill, who is watching a 'tributer' ramming home a charge of gunpowder.

These engravings were based on four of the seven watercolours by S.T. Gill which were reported in the S.A. Register 8 August 1847: Mr Gill the artist has made seven interesting drawings of the Burra Burra Mines, two being surface views of the chief mining locality, one a view of the Association town of Kooringa and four sketches of the subterranean excavations and the mining operations therein. The drawings form very appropriate adornments for the walls of the Directors' Room.

The Gill paintings are 'The Burra Burra Township', 'Neale's stopes, Burra Burra Mine, 1847', 'The Burra Burra Mine, showing main portion of the surface operations, 1847' and 'The opening of the lode in Stock's air-hole from the top of the N.W. entrance, 12 April 1847'. Gill received two guineas per painting. The originals of the first 3 scenes from the Illustrated London News version are held in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia; the last is in the Nan Kivell Collection, National Library of Australia, Canberra.

Copper was discovered at Burra in May 1845 and a mine operated there until 1877. The mine, run by the South Australian Mining Association, attracted many to immigrate to the colony, particularly those who already had experience in working in the copper mines of Cornwall, UK.

As Burra's population grew, accommodation became scarce. Some constructed primitive dwellings in the banks of the Burra Creek. Known as 'dugouts', conditions in these homes were often unsanitary and outbreaks of diseases, such as typhus and smallpox, were not uncommon.

Gill was one of the most prolific water-colour painters working in Australia in the nineteenth century. He was an artist who was often out in the field in the Adelaide Hills or the Flinders Ranges, and on the spot at mine sites, in city streets, at Port Adelaide, the races or at the Agricultural and Horticultural Society's annual show.

Related names :

Gill, S. T. (Samuel Thomas), 1818-1880

Coverage year : 1848
Period : 1836-1851
Place : Burra, South Australia
Region : Mid North
Further reading :

Appleyard, Ron S.T. Gill, the South Australian years 1839-1852. Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia, 1986

Bowden, Keith Macrae Samuel Thomas Gill: artist. [Collaroy, N.S.W.]: K.M. Bowden, [1971]

Drew, GJ. Discovering historic Burra, South Australia Adelaide: Dept. of Mines and Energy and the National Trust of S.A. (Burra Branch), 1988

Dutton, Geoffrey S.T. Gill's Australia South Melbourne: Macmillan, 1981

Gee, Lionel CE. Record of the mines of South Australia [Adelaide, S. Aust.: South Australian Dept. of Mines, 1966]

Willington, CM. The mineral industry contribution to the development of South Australia [Adelaide, 1961]

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