In 1969 Crook joined a four man expedition which retraced the route taken by the gold miners across the Great Divide from Cooktown to the Palmer gold-fields in North Queensland. This trip provided the subject matter for many paintings including Ant hill country, Laura. Of these works his close friend, the writer George Johnson wrote:
This flow of time, this stillness, this mystical awareness of waiting, are strikingly present in many of Crooke’s latest Palmer River gold rush paintings… The pigments of his palette have the shimmering delicacy of memory and nostalgia. He is concerned with a glimpsed, muted, immobile, strangely haunted landscape, where the flow of time past, and time present, and time eternal is an almost visible portrayable thing.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010