Terra Australis Incognito
2016, 70x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
“The Unshared Continent” is a series of large scale digital collages on Lustre paper in limited editions presenting perspectives and speculative narratives on the founding of what was to be called Australia.
It cogitates visually on the period and practice of ‘Transportation’ * from Britain in 1788 to 1868 when approximately 162,000 convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies. This ‘Act of Transportation’ to Australia by the British Government began when transporting felons to the American colonies in the late 1700s declined with a move towards American independence.
* Convict ‘Transportation’ was a substitute for hanging in Georgian England.
THIS WAS THE LARGEST FORCED EXILE OF CITIZENS AT THE BEHEST OF A EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT IN PRE-MODERN HISTORY. NOTHING IN EARLIER PENOLOGY COMPARES WITH IT.
Robert Hughes. ‘The Fatal Shore’
Foot Note :
Australia’s uniqueness is both geographic and historic.
As the world’s largest island and the only island that is both a continent and a country.
It was the first continent conquered from the sea and the last.
And the only nation that began as a prison.