Recent Issues 2016
Australian Antarctic Territory
"Hurley's Journey, 1914 – 1916"
Issue date: 21th June 2016
This stamp issue features the work of one of Australias most celebrated documentary photographers, James Francis (Frank) Hurley.
This stamp issue tells the tale of that ill-fated journey through the lens of Hurley. Despite having to abandon much of his specialist equipment and many glass-plate negatives when the ship, Endurance, sank in October 1915, Hurley photographed the unfolding calamity. Left with only a pocket camera, a few rolls of film and 120 remaining glass-plate negatives, Hurley visualised a compelling narrative of extreme misfortune, remarkable endurance and survival against all odds.
Ice-bound, Ocean Camp, Rescue Mission, At Work
The party departed South Georgia in unseasonably cold conditions on 5 December 1914, sailing into an icy Weddell Sea.
The expedition was crippled when the Endurance became trapped in pack-ice at 76° 34'S on 18 January 1915. The ship was eventually crushed by the pressure of the ice, disappearing beneath it a month later, in November.
Abandoning the ship, the party camped on the icefloe, which drifted slowly north. In April 1916, the floe broke up, forcing the men into their three lifeboats; they reached the unwelcoming Elephant Island days later.
On 24 April 1916, Shackleton embarked on a rescue mission. He and five men took a lifeboat to South Georgia to find help, returning to save the remaining 22 men on 30 August 1916. Hurley arrived back in London from Argentina in November 1916; Shackleton in 1917.
Frank Hurley is shown using his large-format camera, shooting the bow of the
entombed Endurance. Although Hurley is the subject, the photograph is, in effect, a selfportrait, the compositional drama and light typical of his photography.
(text: Australia Post)