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Artist Talk Lyndall Phelps "Re-collect"
29 October
3pm Saturday

Artist Talk and Exhibition Opening

Grafton Regional Gallery

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Collecting, nature, and history are recurring themes within Lyndall Phelps’ art practice. Re-collect explores two key areas: the little-known role played by women, in an amateur capacity, in collecting botanical specimens in nineteenth century Australia and the fragility and vulnerability of the natural world. From 1870 to 1895, seven women from northern New South Wales played an important role by contributing specimens to Australia’s first herbarium, now the National Herbarium of Victoria. Miss Brundoch, Miss Annie Murray, Miss Edith Thornton, and Mrs Mary Wilcox collected in the Clarence district, whilst Miss Annie Edwards, Mrs Mary Hodgkinson and her daughter Miss Virginia Hodgkinson collected in the Richmond Valley.

Phelps has compiled a list of the 700 plus specimens collected by these women. These have become the starting point for Re-collect, an installation combining drawings, embroideries, sculptures, and botanical specimens. Alongside her historical research, Phelps is collaborating with Peter Mouatt and Heidi Lunn at the Southern Cross Plant Science Herbarium, viewing and photographing specimens with their dissecting and compound microscopes, allowing her to observe specimens in ways that were unimaginable to the female collectors. She is also, with the expertise of Peter Gould, collecting specimens at the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, where the women collect over 100 species.


 

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