Wallis recruits convict artist Joseph Lycett

Wallis recruits convict artist Joseph Lycett. Under his direction, Lycett produces watercolour views not only of lush, fertile and available lands along the Hunter River. He also captures on canvas the lives of Aboriginal people living around the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens areas. Some views depict conflict with Europeans, notably “Aborigines with Spears Attacking Europeans in a Rowing Boat”. This shows that sailors are met with a hostile response from local Aborigines who shower them with spears. The seriousness of the attack is shown by a hat belonging to a sailor floating on the water with a spear through it. A large number of warriors hurling their spears makes clear that they intend to repulse the Europeans from the mouth of the Hunter River (Hoorn, The Lycett Album, 1990, 3-8).

Lycett’s view of Sugar Loaf Mountain seemingly depicts Commandant Wallis, his hunting dogs and the “King of Newcastle” returning home after a day of exploring. (Ellis, Treasures of Newcastle, 5)