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A Curious Absence


Taylor, R and Lehman, G, A Curious Absence, Hadley's Art Prize, 8 August, Hadley's Orient Hotel, Hobart (2018) [Plenary Presentation]

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Greg, you and I have known each other and talked about history and a whole bunch of other stuff for nearly twenty years. Recently I have had the pleasure of reading something of yours few people have: your PhD, Regarding the Savages: Visual Representation of Tasmanian Aborigines in the 19th Century. Unlike a lot of PhDs, this is a very readable text, and I am pleased to hear you’ll be publishing it. It is the culmination of many years of research into your area of expertise in art history.

The questions and discussion tonight grows out of the third chapter of your thesis, titled ‘A Landscape Emptied’ – which has I think inspired the title of tonight’s conversation ‘A Curious Absence’.

I found this chapter fascinating, and I think the audience will too. It brings to light that landscape painting is not simply about making pretty pictures. "The landscape is", as you quote WJT Mitchell: " a particular historical formation associated with European imperialism". What does that mean in Van Diemen’s Land? How is landscape painting political, and does it have anything to do with this idea of an absence of Aboriginal people?

Item Details

Item Type:Plenary Presentation
Keywords:Tasmania, history, Aboriginal, art, landscape
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Taylor, R (Dr Rebe Taylor)
UTAS Author:Lehman, G (Dr Greg Lehman)
ID Code:135970
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2019-11-22
Last Modified:2021-02-15

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