In this design, legendary illustrator James Northfield captures several symbolic aspects of Australian culture in the 1930s. The Australian bushman and pioneer is suggested, yet the presence of his female riding partner also alludes to the increasing popularity of recreational outdoor pursuits at the time, as well as an accompanying sense of equality between the genders. Characteristic of Northfield's modern, egalitarian approach, the female rider confidently takes up primaray postion in the front of the composition.
Both riders admire the inspiring scenery, complete with dappled light on the tall gum trees and the 'blue hills' atmospheric effect so characteristic of the Australian bush. As in all his designs, Northfield captures these effects with consummate skill, particularly given the inherent technical limitations of the print processes at his disposal. In fact, Northfield revels in the natural constraints of the medium, employing a wonderful airbrush stippling effect in this design to suggest distance and provide surface texture.
If you're an expatriate Australian looking for a spectacular image to show off your love of home, this might be the perfect thing. Horse and animal lovers will also particularly enjoy the way this print captures the atmosphere of the trail!
With a wide colour palette, skilfully moderated by the designer through a unifying black border, this image offers plenty of colour touches to pick up in almost any decor.
© All Northfield images courtesy of James Northfield Heritage Art Trust
Text © Vintage Portfolio
Vintage Portfolio is Australia's leading producer of vintage travel posters and advertising posters from the 1930s, 1940s and beyond. The collection includes key designs by James Northfield, Australia's best-loved graphic artist of the era. We also carry a collection of modern subjects which lovingly revive the charm of 20th Century art and design.