13 July, 2023

Sisters’ work on show at gallery

A TRAVELLING exhibition from the Australian Museum that takes visitors on a journey through the extraordinary work of two renowned 19th century natural history artists is being hosted by Tablelands Regional Gallery.

The Emperor Moth Syntherata janetta painted by Harriet Scott is one of the artworks on show.
The Emperor Moth Syntherata janetta painted by Harriet Scott is one of the artworks on show.

“Transformation: Art of the Scott Sisters” will enable locals to learn about the work of Harriet (Hattie) and Helena (Nellie) Scott, featuring a display of 150-year-old artworks.

The exhibition showcases 35 watercolour reproductions alongside animated projections of butterflies and moths, all based on original illustrations by the sisters.

“The Scott sisters’ remarkable artistic talent and love for nature overcame the challenges of a male-dominated scientific field, and they established themselves as prominent figures in 19th century science,” Cr Peter Hodge said.

“Their works continue to inspire generations and this is a rare opportunity for our community to delve into the captivating story behind their beautiful illustrations.

“The best part is that entry to all our galleries is free so get in before Saturday 12 August to see this amazing exhibition.”

Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay said Hattie and Nellie Scott exuded wit, intelligence and scientific expertise at a time when these qualities were largely attributed solely to men.

“The sisters were incredibly talented and determined to make a difference, flying in the face of gender norms of the time, yet they were unable to formally study science at Sydney University as they had wished,” she said.

“Their work at the Australian Museum in the 1850s to 1870s provided them with an outlet for their extraordinary talents, having been taught the techniques to paint flora and fauna by their father A.W. Scott, who was also an artist and scientist.

“He shared with them the scientific skills to observe, collect and record behavioural and distribution data.”

Cr Hodge also announced two activities in conjunction with the travelling exhibition.

“The gallery will be offering a morning tea and talk, and a botanical print workshop to complement the travelling exhibition,” he said.

Patrons can enjoy a light morning tea while Professor Peter Valentine presents “Butterfly Transformations, Deceptions and Connections”, a free talk that explores the intriguing behaviour of the butterfly order Lepidoptera, and their intricate relationships and local connections.

The morning tea and talk will be held at the gallery at 10am on Thursday 20 July.

“If you’re seeking a more hands-on experience, the botanical print workshops led by

Maryke Dobe will provide an introduction to printing techniques using a gel press plate,” Cr Hodge said.

Participants will have the opportunity to appreciate the intricate beauty of nature’s structures and create a series of botanical prints, incorporating realistic form and structure with artistic flair in the use of colour.

The workshops will cover various techniques including negative and positive prints, overprinting, set up for registration, masks and stencils, and rainbow rolls. Book by going to www.tablelandsregionalcouncil.event- now for the workshops at 10am- 12noon or 1pm-3pm on Thursday 27 July. The $45 cost including materials, and tea and coffee.


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