Violet and Una Teague Set Off

In 1933, a year before Albert Namatjira met artist Rex Battarbee, the “can do” artist Violet Teague set out to visit Central Australia with her sister, Una.

Una Teague and artist Jessie Trail had visited Hermannsburg in 1932 and reported back to Violet about the deadly drought at the Lutheran Mission.

The sisters then planned a road trip and that’s the story of how they became advocates and fundraisers for the Kaporilya¬†pipeline project to get water from the¬†Kaporilya underground springs to the Hermannsburg Mission. The drought had taken the lives of almost a third of the indigenous people from around Hermannsburg. Some say the drought came about because the Mission shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

But either way the sisters raised more than two thousand pounds.

Una and Violet hired a car, a Studebaker, complete with a driver from a taxi firm in nearby Frankson and set out. Camping all the way.

| Violet Teague, 1st Camp Sea Lake, 1933, Hermannsburg sketchbook, State Library of Victoria |

It’s a long way to Alice Springs. Here they are in Brachina.

| Violet Teague, Branchina, 1933, Hermannsburg sketchbook, State Library of Victoria |

| Violet Teague, Flinders Rangers, 1933, Hermannsburg sketchbook, State Library of Victoria |

Violet was known for her oil portraits but I think I prefer the watercolours.

Julia Ritson

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