Close Encounters - Eildon Gallery, 51 Grey St, St Kilda, Melbourne 6 -31 July 2016
This exhibition of paintings quotes and transforms some of the visual records from one of the earliest French voyages to Australia. Under command Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, the expedition was to search for the missing explorer La Pérouse and to 'take every measure to render the expedition useful and advantageous to navigation, geography, commerce and the arts and sciences'. To achieve this, a group of well equipped savants were selected to accompany the voyage. Included was the gifted naturalist Jacques-Julien Houtou La Billardière. La Billardière later published his narrative account of the expedition accompanied by a richly illustrated Atlas. The engravings in the Atlas were derived from the works of expedition artist Jean Piron whose drawings were a very personal record of places, events and people encountered. In this exhibition Close Encounters, I quote and re-present many of the black and white Atlas engravings as paintings to explore the nature of various encounters between the Europeans explorers, Indigenous peoples and place during the voyage.
The Naturalist's Footsteps
Thanks to funding from ArtsACT, I've travelled to south eastern Tasmania to re-trace the steps of the D'Entrecasteaux expedition. I'm exploring this year new ways of painting to convey this and other histories embedded in this location.