Low Head Portraits Aquisition

Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum, Launceston. TAS


Cyanotypes made in 2005 have been acquired by the Queen Victoria Art Gallery and Museum in Launceston, my home town. They will be exhibited in the QVAGM in Wellington Street, opening on the 31st of July 2021.

Low Head Portrait(Self) and Low Head Portrait (Other) have been created using two 19th century image making techniques – cyanotypes (blue prints) and silhouettes

Low Head Portrait (Other) is a photogram of an onion bag and sea sponges gathered from Low Head at the mouth of the Tamar River.*There is an unsettling tension and ghostliness to the portrait: edges bleed into the surrounding space, inside and outside blur, the sponges become like organs suspended in the depths of the dark blue sea of memory. One reading of them is they that speak to the ongoing unsettling impacts of colonisation.

These are anonymous portraits: the identity of each friend who assisted me to make them is not important. However the sea sponges found at Low Head and the onion bags are significant motifs for both sides of my family, as well in the broader history of Tasmania. Low Head saw the arrival to the colony of my convict fore-bearers who would later become farmers on the fertile red soil of the Deloraine district. My sea- captain great grandfather regularly sailed up and down the Tamar on his way between Melbourne and Launceston. My mother and I both holidayed as children at Low Head.

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