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A trip to Ash Island

By: Vanessa Finney, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 22 Jun 2011

Recently I took a field trip to Ash Island in the Hunter estuary where the Scott sisters lived, painted and collected for more than 20 years from 1846.

Botany of Ash Island by Helena Scott, 1862

 © Australian Museum

As part of our preparation for the upcoming Scott sisters exhibition, Fran Dorey (exhibition coordinator) and I took a day trip to Ash Island, to scope scenes for our exhibition photographer and to meet the inspiring team from the Kooragang Wetlands Rehabilitation Project.

For almost 20 years, Peggy Svoboda and her team of Kooragang volunteers have been working to bring Ash Island back to something like the state it was in when the Scotts lived there from 1846 to 1864. Working from the botanical listing of over 200 species Helena Scott made in on the island in 1862-3, the team are hoping to bring back the ash to Ash island, and much, much more -- including some of the 20 species of orchid Helena catalouged on the island.

Peggy and her team have visited the Archives before, and now it was our turn to see their work. It is truly impressive and inspiring to see their dedication, enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge of Ash Island and its history.

And it was a real treat to see the location for the beautiful art we have in our Scott collection, to see the variety in the landscape, experience the importance of the river and to see the wonderfully peaceful site for their house at the head of the island, looking up the wide, shining river.

Here is a selection of photographs I took on the day -- more to come about this fantastic project and its links to our Scott collection once we have our exhibition website running in the next few weeks.

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3 comments

Vanessa Finney - 12.08 PM, 02 August 2011

Hi Ross, there won't be a printed catalogue for the exhibition, but we are publishing lots of new material -- new scans of our collections and new research findings -- to the new Scott sisters section on our website: http://www.australianmuseum.net.au/Beauty-from-Nature-art-of-the-Scott-Sisters/

 

19william - 9.07 AM, 09 July 2011
Will there be a catelogue to accompany the exhibition?
Lynda Kelly - 9.06 AM, 23 June 2011

What a fascinating story Vanessa. I'm really looking forward to that exhibition!

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