The Llewellyn Collector's Chest
The work of Anne Llewellyn, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle is currently on display in the Design Building Exhibition space at the University. The exhibition is part of PhD research and is based on the fieldwork conducted since the commencement of her study in 2003. Concentrating on fieldwork observations accumulated during extensive travel to a diverse range of habitats across Australia, the work culminates in the Llewellyn Collector's Chest.
The Llewellyn Collector's Chest is a specifically designed and constructed cabinet containing a collection of Australian natural history treasures. Hand-made of oiled cedar and glass, it is a modern-day rendition of the traditional collector's chests of earlier centuries when the rich and privileged collected the material wonders of the New World. A repository for found and collected objects, the Llewellyn Collector's Chest emulates similar eighteenth century counterparts, most notably the Dixson and Macquarie Chests, now located in the State library library of NSW and attributed to Joseph Lycett, a forger interned at Newcastle during the years 1815 - 1818.
During many years of research and travels, natural history illustrator Anne Llewellyn, has observed nature, captured and painted images, created artworks and writings, collected specimens and artefacts which are a record of the beauty and heritage of the many and varied natural environments of Australia.
The Llewellyn Collector's Chest contains:
Sketchbook Journals- watercolour and pencil field sketches of landscapes, flora and fauna; each sketchbook handcrafted, bound and boxed for presentation purposes. Represented in this collection are
- The Canning Stock Route of Western Australia 2005
- The Larapinta Trail of the Northern Territory 2008
- Rainforest-Coast of mid New South Wales 2003-2008
Site Rubbings- graphite on fabric, created in the field, of various impressions of tree bark patterns, foliage designs and rock textures; created for architectural interest; stored as scrolls in the chest, but prepared for display as hanging banners.
Framed Images- Archival photographic prints and original sketches representing seven Australian habitat types; stored in the chest as drawers, but designed to be hung as gallery frames. Represented are
- Rainforests of the East Coast
- Sea Shore Habitats
- Alpine Environments
- Dry Sclerophyll Forests
- Central Arid Regions
- Western Deserts
- Southwest Wildflower Country
Botanical Specimens- a collection of plants, carefully pressed and dried, mounted on hand-made paper and bound as volumes of herbarium data sheets.
Slideshow- 3000 digital images running continuously from an in-built computer; a tour of natural history subjects from all over Australia; photographs of majestic landscapes, plants, flowers, birds, reptiles and insects in full vivid colour.
Collectibles- typically representative, some extraordinary; a display of found shells, rocks, fossils and other small objects laid out under glass and lights.
Insect Collection- a representational display of a typical collector's insect collection but with minimal use of real specimens.
Diorama in a Box- a three-dimensional reptile/amphibian scene from the East Coast region of Australia.
Seeds and Pods- a diverse collection of selected Australian flora, identified, coded and recorded in an accompanying notebook.
Reference Books- a collection of published field guides for the Australian natural history illustrator, quintessential requisites for the identification and appreciation of one's 'discoveries'.
Art Essentials- the equipment employed in the collection of information and production of art in the field including hand-made colour swatches developed for field sketching.
Thesis- an illustrated colour copy of Anne Llewellyn's research paper; 340 pages, over 180 illustrations; titled
"Is There Method in the Madness?
The Development of an Innovative Field-based Methodology
That can be applied to Contemporary Natural History Illustration".
The Llewellyn Collector's Chest is a combination of art and science, a time capsule created at the beginning of the third millennium, a record of the natural state of Australia at this time. It is intended to be a beautiful, valuable and timeless object of interest to those who love Australia and its natural history. It is truly, "Australia - something out of the box".
The work will be on exhibition 9am till 5pm weekdays from 15 September till 10 October 2008 in the Design Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW.
For further information please contact: