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Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: the flora of Menindee

It’s a while since I wrote anything about the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project that I am involved with.

Very briefly…..I am part of a group of botanic artists who, since 2010 have gone annually to Menindee, a small town in outback new South Wales. We are collecting and then painting the specimens collected by Hermann Beckler, the doctor on the Burke and Wills Expedition, in 1860. Our website will give you a good overview while you can read more about my personal experiences on these posts.

As well as collecting and painting all 120 plants on his list, we have always had the dream of having an exhibition of the Project. Last year (or was it 2016?) we were accepted by the Art Gallery of Ballarat!

Since then we, with a big input from the fabulous staff at the Gallery, have been busy with the tasks needed to get the Exhibition up.

  • 40 paintings have been selected, scanned, mounted and framed
  • 4 cabinets with objects showing our themes of Art, Science, History and Country have been organised
  • Essays have been written for the catalogue, along with artist bios and statements about their plants
  • A slide show and narration (including bird song from the area!) has been produced. It will show in the smaller room off the main room.
  • Our Opening has been organised
  • Publicity is well underway

Now, we are about 5 weeks away from the Opening!!!!

So, if you are in Victoria (Ballarat is only an hour’s train ride from Melbourne 😉 ) organise some friends to come to see the Exhibition.  And if you can’t make it tell a friend who lives a little closer. The cafe in the Gallery is very good too!

Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: the Flora of Menindee

25th February to 27th May 2018

Art Gallery of Ballarat

img_5275
Detail of my Menindee plant ~ Cullen australasicum

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19 replies on “Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: the flora of Menindee”

I so wish I was near enough to visit the exhibition, it sounds wonderful. I was thinking about you yesterday when I received your lovely postcard – thank you. Mind you, I think about you every day when I gaze at the lovely tree and admire the way it catches the light.

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I’m pleased the post card arrived. It was fun to paint. Also pleased that you are enjoying the tree too. 😘
I know I am biased, but I think the exhibition is going to look pretty darn good. Ballarat’s art gallery is a very good, well funded gallery, used to putting on large, complex exhibitions. The invitations for the Opening, for example, look very elegant. Perhaps you could fly out just for the occasion………

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So encouraging to be part of a a big and significant exhibition. It gives you hope that it will have an impact on a much greater audience. I have your original feather AND your New Year feather side by side on my bookshelf, directly in front of my chair. They give me pleasure every time I see them, so I hope the rest of your work will have the same effect for others 🙂

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The Gallery is very optimistic about people visiting. The Art Gallery in Ballarat (and similarly with the one in Bendigo) attracts audiences from Melbourne. It is a great outing for the day to catch the train, look at the art work and have some lunch.

I am so glad that my feather reached you, and it is giving you pleasure. 😊

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I do feel very honoured. It has been interesting to be part of the behind the scenes process. It’s like renovating a house ~ there are so many things you never think about, but need decisions made! As for merchandise, at this stage I only know about the catalogue, but there maybe cards. I will certainly let you know.

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Last week Mali, our project leader, told me that it was only 5 weeks to the Opening. That got me into a tizzy! So a few deep breaths and on to finish the next task. I will certainly keep you posted.

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It’s amazing to know that it is just around the corner, and that we have managed to pull this off. Thank heavens for the professionalism of the team at the Gallery.

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what can I add to all the other comments – I expect “wow” and “congrats” on surviving the tasks allocated and now hopefully it is just a case of getting it together in the gallery, assume with much help and being at the opening, cheering from the sidelines and feeling pleased about how well it has/will turn out….good publicity for history with responses from artist and interested parties in our contemporary times …

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You are so right ~ it really is a case now of getting everything together and then cheering from the sidelines! The other aspect of this Project, aside from the history and artistic, is the citizen scientist one. We have been collecting plant data that will refresh knowledge gained in the 1860s. That’s special too.

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Anne, this is really exciting. I can still remember some of your earliest posts on your travels and painting. I hope you’ll get lots of photos and video to share. I hope too, that it gets the proper attendance it deserves. xo

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