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The Black Tulip


Ozolins, B, The Black Tulip, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, 1 (2016) [Published Creative Work]

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The Black Tulip was an artistic response to Mary Grimstone’s Woman’s Love (1832), Australia’s extremely rare and little known second novel, written by a woman, and held in the Crowther collection of the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office. Current scholarship about Grimstone is limited to historical and critical essays, the most significant by Morris Miller (1957) and Michael Roe (1995, 1996, 1989, 2012). The Black Tulip aimed to demonstrate how contemporary art strategies can be used to breathe new life into colonial literature, making it accessible to a wider readership. It expands on traditional written scholarship about Grimstone through the use of site-specific installation and public reading performances. The imagined writing desks of Grimstone, one enshrouded in sheer black fabric and accompanied by an ethereal sound track, evoked the ‘haunted’ presence of Grimstone in the Allport collections and celebrated her under-acknowledged literary skill. Still and moving images of a black tulip referenced the rarity of the novel, and the public reading events, at which women only were invited to read aloud Woman’s Love, gave the book a new, multi-dimensional voice that encouraged a fresh engagement with Grimstone and her writing.

Item Details

Item Type:Published Creative Work
Keywords:Installation, Performance, Reading, Mary Grimstone, Colonial Literature
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Fine arts
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Ozolins, B (Dr Brigita Ozolins)
ID Code:113919
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2017-01-29
Last Modified:2018-04-05

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