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The two-day program includes the following sessions:
Presentation: The TAL & Dai-ichi Life Derby Collection
This extraordinary collection of natural history illustrations, purchased with the generous support of TAL & Dai-ichi Life and the NSW Government, is the Library’s most significant addition of early colonial material since the 1930s. Containing 745 watercolours in six volumes, the collection conveys Europe’s naïve yet genuine sense of wonder at Australia’s unique natural history.
Presentation: The Early Colonial Art of J.W. Lewin
Inspired by the European passion for natural history, John William Lewin wanted to paint and publish Australia’s wild curiosities ‘on the spot, and not from dry specimens, or notes still more abstruse’. Arriving in Sydney in 1800, Lewin began as a conventional natural history illustrator, steeped in English traditions. His immediate response to Australian nature, however, was innovative, creative and completely unexpected.
Practice Makes Perfect: the Artist's Journey
Keeping sketchbooks has long been a vital tool in developing art practice. The use of a sketchbook facilitates the artist’s process in preparing to create a new work. Many Australian artists have kept sketchbooks within easy reach to scribble design ideas and notes and draw without judgement. Investigation of the pages of these sketchbooks offers rich opportunities for inquiry into the past - revealing something of the heart and mind of the artist and what has 'caught their eye' at any particular moment in time.
Gallery Tour with curator
This will include a curator-led gallery tour of our extraordinary paintings collection, highlighting some key works on display, works that haven’t been exhibited before, and some extraordinary back-stories about them.
Sketching in the galleries and Mitchell Library Reading Room
On both days, participants will get an opportunity to do some sketching inside the historic Mitchell Library Reading Room as well as in the Library’s new gallery spaces. An experienced artist will be on hand to provide guidance and help you to hone your technique.
Featured artist – George Washington Lambert
This session will focus on the Library’s holdings of George Washington Lambert; portrait painter and one of Australia’s first official war artists in World War I.
An artist’s book is an artwork created in the form of a book. Artists employ a wide range of media and techniques to produce artists’ books. They are often handcrafted and produced in limited editions or sometimes as unique one-off products. In this session we’ll explore examples from the Library's rich collection of artists’ books.