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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.

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Out of Place

Lieutenant James Cook heads the first of three expeditions to the South Pacific Ocean aboard HMS Endeavour to seek evidence of the postulated Terra Australis Incognito or 'unknown southern land'. 
From April to August 1770 Cook charts the east coast of Australia making land at Botany Bay.
2016, 76x76cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper

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1st May 1770 - Captain James Cook, Sir Joseph Banks, Lord Sandwich, Dr Daniel Solander and Dr JohnHawes

 
'Now they had stumbled ashore in a land of inversions...'
2016, 72x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper

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3rd February 1769 - Banks shoots an albatross. Thirty years before Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

2016, 76x76cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper

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Governor Phillip receives his commission to head the First Fleet from George III in 1786

2016, 67x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper

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Seas of Consolation

2017, 95x76cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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The First Fleet left England on 13th May 1787 for the 'lands beyond the seas' - Australia

2016, 57x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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'No other country had such a birth...' - R. Hughes, The Fatal Shore

On 26th January 1788 - a camp was set up and the British flag raised at Sydney Cove, Port Jackson.

The colonisation of the last Continent had begun

2016, 76x97cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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The Disappearance of the French!

The French Captain Laperouse arrived at Botany Bay less than a week after The First Fleet. After sojourning for six weeks on March 10th they sailed - never to be heard from again...
2017, 71x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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Pathos of Distance - 1 & 2

2018, 76x76cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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Portrait of Transnational Hybridity

2018, 101x66cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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Identity marks differences passed between generations and across distances

2017, 53x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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La Mutinerie a bord du navire Lady Shore, 1797

2017, 67x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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What were the mercies of penal transportation?

2017, 76x101cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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Arthur Phillip (b.1738 d.1814)

2018, 101x66cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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Ithaca and Botany Bay

'Ithaca itself was scarcely more longed for by Ulysses, than Botany Bay by the adventurers who had traversed so many thousand miles to take possession of it.' - Watkin Tench 1787
2018, 76x76cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper
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Banksia - genus of Protaeceae

Joseph Banks accompanied Cook on his first great voyage (1768 - 1771).He advocated Botany Bay as the most eligible for the reception of convicts stating"...it (Australia) was larger than the whole of Europe and would furnish Matter of advantageous Return".
2018, 76x76cm, Digital collage on Lustre paper