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Tintype photographs by Phillip England of the CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection


A unique visual perspective on the fascinating and scientifically important specimens in the CSIRO Australian National Fish Collection.

In 2016, SAC Resident Artist Phillip England undertook an artist in residence placement at the Hobart CSIRO Marine Laboratories to photograph, using the antique collodion tintype process, specimens from the Australian National Fish Collection (ANFC).

Collodion tintype photography imbues subjects with a mysteriousness that parallels the cryptic, rarely seen nature of the marine organisms inhabiting Australia’s waters. The technique was practiced in the 1800s when Australia’s unique biodiversity was being recognised and celebrated for the first time in the west by the scientific world.

Tintypes are unique, one-of-a-kind images made directly onto a single metal plate in the camera and as such symbolise the uniqueness of the individual specimens in the collection.

The small and highly detailed tintypes in Denizens invite the viewer to gaze deeply into the silver-based images and marvel at the magnificent marine creatures whose reflections they capture. We are prompted to ponder the multifaceted threats marine biodiversity faces in modern times, while at the same time responding to the unusual and artisanal, visual aesthetic the Denizens tintypes employ.

Thursday 8 February 2018 @ 5:30pm
Exhibition to be opened by Jock Young, Tasmanian painter. 

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77 Salamanca Place, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia

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