Despard Gallery is welcoming Tjanpi Desert Weavers to join the collection! We are happy to announce that we will be stocking works from the Alice Springs based gallery and introducing new artists in our ART AND OBJECT exhibition.
The Whimsy Series
The winter afternoon gives way to night. The ill ink-black sky is pierced by jagged stars and a moon like a microscope’s eyepiece. The trees, sentry-like, cast their shadows across the pillared portico of the Museum’s entrance. Inside, between the second floor and the gabled roof, was once a residence with rooms of high ceilings and tall windows. For nigh on forty years my great-grandfather lived there with my great-grandmother and his two children.
These rooms are now the offices of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston. In my forbear’s day, the walls in the study and day rooms were lined with massive bookcases and glass- fronted cupboards, formidable backgrounds for Victorian and Edwardian bric-a-brac. Shell curios, natural oddities, butterflies and small stuffed, brightly coloured birds perched on mossy twigs under protecting glass domes, vied for attention among the little delicately hand-painted Venetian glass Moser-ware vases from Germany and other objects d’art.
My great-grandfather was a museum curator and scientist who held a life-long passion for the intricate designs, wondrous marvels and spectacles of nature. I like to think that I am carrying on his obsession as I, too, am drawn to its vivid and patterned forms, its minutiae and exquisite variation. In the quest to create and invent, humans, from the earliest times, have vied with nature’s designs. These sculptures, made of found glass, metal objects and artificial plants, continue my preoccupation with the symbiotic relations of nature and culture, between things that are natural and those that are artificial and manufactured. They reflect, too, an enduring fascination with Victorian decorative arts.