2008 "Exotica" - A Voyage to Terra Australis
These are the first of a new series of drawings and sculptures that explore the idea discovering new and exotic species. I have read extensively from the journals of the artists who travelled to Australia in the early 19th century, especially the French ships of Baudin, "Le Geographe" and "Le Naturaliste".
My interest is in the idea of a mind and hand trained in a western tradition and then being confronted with species that are "out of this world". I have been pouring over botanical illustrations at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens library.
Some of these plants and animals ended up in Josephine's Garden at Malmaison. This is the ultimate displacement and the fascination that the French had for all things exotic from the other side of the world is difficult to imagine today.