HASTINGS residents can step back 200 years into the past as local historian David Martin opens a collection of the oldest artworks depicting the local landscape.
The Hastings Landscapes Exhibition will be on show at Port Macquarie Library on July 15 to 29.
The event celebrates two centuries since the first Hastings landscape artworks were created by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King in 1819.
The art exhibition showcases about 45 artworks with some of the more significant pieces being discussed at an information session from 10am on Wednesday, July 17.
Local historian and author David Martin said the works would include reproductions of the older paintings, etchings and sketches as well as original artworks.
"I've always been a creative person," said Mr Martin.
"The research was interesting and there was an opportunity of giving local artists a chance to display their work as well.
"I think sometimes we forget that we are really third in line on the mainland after Sydney and Newcastle.
"Historically we are a long way ahead of many other towns."
On display will be a number of landscape reports made by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King indicating Port Macquarie as a suitable place for a settlement, after it was initially noted by surveyor John Oxley in 1818.
Of special interest in the exhibition are three sketches drawn illustrating the side wheel paddle steamer, Ballinar, which was wrecked in 1879 in the entrance channel to Port Macquarie.
"It was a big event locally but there are no photographs of it or eyewitness records except for a series of sketches from a man named Robert Perrott," Mr Martin said.
"That's a highlight, they haven't been seen anywhere before."
Mr Martin has been assisted by Port Macquarie Library and Hastings Valley Fine Art Association.
"The library has been very supportive," said Mr Martin.
Mr Martin has self-published a number of books including The Changing Face of Port Macquarie in 2012, Port Macquarie Then and Now in 2014 and is planning another edition in late 2019.
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