This is one of 'Hurley's series of remarkable masthead panoramas' (Alasdair McGregor, in 'Frank Hurley. A Photographer's Life'). It is captioned in pencil on the verso: 'Film Panorama 64. Sunset off Proclamation', and McGregor puts this important image into context. 'The British Flag was hoisted and British Sovereignty asserted on 13th January 1930' - the main purpose of these expeditions - on Proclamation Island, five kilometres off Cape Batterbee, Enderby Land, as the ship could not reach the mainland. 'At noon, looking across a sea scattered with icebergs riding like some great gelid fleet and a mainland of ragged mountains all but overwhelmed by polar ice, Mawson read the prepared proclamation.... By mid-afternoon they were back at the ship. Davis [the captain] had not been willing to drop anchor and was eager to leave' (page 312). Much of this is obvious in this fine photograph, but the body of the seal on a blood-soaked sheet of ice will catch many by surprise ... Provenance: from the personal collection of Sir Douglas Mawson, leader of these expeditions, and by descent. The caption is in his hand.
Provenance: from the personal collection of Sir Douglas Mawson, leader of these expeditions, and by descent. The caption is in his hand.