Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet

Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet http://wp.me/p41CQf-8h

This gorgeous selection of detailed drawings will be shown at the State Library of New South Wales’ TAL & Dai-ichi Life Derby Collection. The drawings come from the private collection of Australian art collector Kerry Stokes, among other collectors. Some of these treasures haven’t ever been seen before by the public!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anybody with an interest in natural history, art or the history of Australia should head to the State Library of NSW for this exhibition. It’s a refreshing change from other colonial stories. The staple narrative of the early days of Australia’s colonisation recounts the punitive conditions, hunger and isolation of convicts. However along with this grim side of history, these hand-drawn treasures show early European settlers’ curiosity and tenderness for strange and striking looking Australian fauna.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Featuring works by convicts-turned watercolourists John Doody and Thomas Watling. You can also peruse these sublime pictures at your leisure in the book by Louise Anemaat Natural Curiosity: Unseen Art of the First Fleet.


Compared to the Old World, Australia presented the early settlers with a cacophany of birdsong and flurry of colours with black swans that glided into billabongs; parrots and lorikeets that cavorted in the trees; and shy and elusive marsupials hiding behind the brush.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

11 thoughts on “Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet

    1. Hi Jules,

      Thanks I would love to follow you and see what you’re up to. Let’s keep discussing design and art inspiration! I’m a bit of a hotchpotch here in terms of articles and interests but being eclectic is good right? Take care ❤


      1. I look forward to seeing yours. I absolutely love the one on Nordic design, love the stark contrasts of black and white. I need more money to implement this *sigh* hehe 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: