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Australian Inspiration (On tour in NSW)

Exhibition Date

Saturday 18 June 2016 to Thursday 28 June 2018

Admission

Free

On Tour

See below for locations and dates

Inspiration for artists and designers

ON DISPLAY AT LIBRARIES THROUGHOUT REGIONAL NEW SOUTH WALES

Australian Inspiration reveals how the unique beauty of Australia's native flora and fauna has long inspired artists and designers.

The earliest natural history drawings of the waratah were used to document a new species. Included are drawings by James Sowerby and colonial artist John Lewin, to more decorative interpretations by French artist Lucien Henry and costume designer Thelma Afford.  Illustrations of koalas by Dorothy Wall, Norman Lindsay and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite reflected a society which had began to define its cultural identity through native fauna.

Drawing on the Library’s rich collections, this display focuses on how the waratah and the koala have become invaluable sources of inspiration and design.

A colour drawing of a waratah.
About this item: 

James Sowerby was a natural historian, artist and engraver, who collaborated with James Smith (1759–1828), one of the first botanists to work on the plant specimens sent back to England from the new colony. Together, in 1793, they produced the first scientific publication of Australian flora, A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland. Sowerby’s plates were renowned for their simplicity and botanical accuracy.

Embothrium speciosissimum
1793
James Sowerby (1757–1822)
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
a2705046
A cartoon style image of Koala's playing a game of football.
About this item: 

Watercolour

Published 13 years before the birth of Blinky Bill, Tommy Bear was the precursor to the everlasting Blinky. In this short story, Tommy Bear is prescribed a holiday in Sydney to ‘have some fun’, which he has with the mischievous Zookies. Influenced by May Gibbs, Wall’s Zookies were drawn in a similar style to the gumnut babies.

The Football Match
c. 1919
Dorothy Wall (1894–1942)
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
c042390002
A poster promotion the Blue Mountains showing a graphic of a waratah in front of a landscape showing a cliff face and bushland in the distance.
About this item: 

Screenprint

Henry Rousel was a Sydney-based sign-writer. Working as H Rousel, Signwriter Company, he expanded into screen-printing and paintings for hotels to promote breweries. The local council used this Rousel design in a tourist campaign. The Blue Mountains has long been a tourist destination for Sydneysiders with the waratah being one of its many attractions.

See for yourself …
c. 1949
Henry Rousel (1865–1929)
View collection item detail
Digital ID: 
c036400001

Hear from our curator Sarah Morley and discover more about items on display at our CURIO website.

ON TOUR DETAILS:

On display at the following libraries. Dates listed are subject to change. Please confirm with each library.

Ballina, 18 - 30 June 2016

Grafton, 9 - 21 July 2016

Glen Innes, 30 July - 11 August 2016

Armidale, 20 August - 1 September 2016

Coffs Harbour, 10 - 22 September 2016

Kempsey, 1 - 13 October 2016

Lake Haven, 22 October - 3 November 2016

Wallsend, 12 - 24 November 2016

Port Macquarie, 3-15 December 2016

Werris Creek, 23 December 2016 - 12 January 2017

Narrabri, 21 January - 2 February 2017

Gilgandra, 11 - 23 February 2017

Dubbo, 4 - 16 March 2017

Parkes, 25 March - 6 April 2017

Broken Hill, 14 April - 4 May 2017

Lake Cargelligo, 13 - 25 May 2017

Leeton, 3 - 15 June 2017

Coolamon, 24 June - 6 July 2017

Grenfell, 15 - 27 July 2017

Deniliquin, 5 - 17 August 2017

Berrigan, 26 - 31 August 2017

Mulwala, 9 - 21 September 2017

Springwood, 30 September - 12 October 2017

Lithgow, 21 October - 2 November 2017

Nowra, 11 - 23 November 2017

Tura Beach, 2 - 14 December 2017

Batlow, 23 December 2017 - 11 January 2018

Albury, 20 January - 1 February 2018

Cootamundra, 10 - 22 February 2018

Temora, 3 - 15 March 2018

Yass, 24 March - 5 April 2018

East Maitland, 14 - 26 April 2018

Singleton, 5 - 17 May 2018

Cessnock, 26 May - 7 June 2018

Charlestown, 16 - 28 June 2018

Australian Inspiration - Designer In Residence

Designer in Residence Julie Paterson is creating a series of new textile designs based on the Library's beautiful collection. Watch her journey here. More to come late 2016! 

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