Two Art Exhibitions On Colonial Past Opens At The TMAG

Two Art Exhibitions On Colonial Past Opens At The TMAG

Tasmania Minister for the Arts Elise Archer

Significant Colonial Artworks On Show In Tasmania For The First Time

Victor P Taffa

Two important new art exhibitions exploring the State’s colonial past have today opened at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

 National Picture has been developed in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia (the National Gallery) and is a major exhibition of colonial art works and contemporary responses to the Black War in Tasmania, Minister for the Arts Elise Archer said.

Curated by Professor Tim Bonyhady (Australian National University) and Dr. Greg Lehman (University of Melbourne), the exhibition draws on key loans from national and international collections, including several works from TMAG’s collection, and examines British colonists’ representations of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

This exhibition is the first time many of these portraits have been seen in Tasmania, and it was developed after extensive consultation between the National Gallery, the co-curators and importantly, the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

Also opening today is the Thomas Bock exhibition that showcases exquisite drawings, watercolours and daguerreotypes by convict artist Thomas Bock, developed in collaboration with the UK’s Ikon Gallery.

At the heart of the Thomas Bock exhibition is the extraordinary series of portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people, now held in the British Museum and on show in Australia for the first time as part of this exhibition.

Both exhibitions provide a wonderful opportunity for Tasmanians to see major works from TMAG’s collection sitting alongside significant colonial works from other institutions that have rarely been seen in the State.

Exhibitions are accompanied by a range of public programs, including a forum discussing the themes explored in The National Picture on Friday, 17 August at 11:00 am, and a Thomas Bock curator floor talk on Saturday, 18 August at 11:00 am.

“I encourage all Tasmanians to visit TMAG to view this truly unique opportunity.” Minister Archer said.

The National Picture: The Art of Tasmania’s Black War is on show in Argyle Galleries 1-3 and Thomas Bock is on show in Argyle Gallery 4 from 17 August until 11 November 2018.