The exhibition Plotting the island: dreams, discovery and disaster navigates both real and imaginary voyages, seeing the island of Australia as a pivotal destination.

The Indigenous inhabitants had long established profound connectedness and history to this island, yet in the Western mind it was shrouded in mystery and imagined through art and literature. It was the lucrative spice trade and the opportunities for territorial expansion that brought Europeans to the Pacific and onto Australia, sometimes purposefully, other times by fateful accident. Their cartographic developments began to transform the world’s map. The era of exploration encompassed another age, that of the Enlightenment. This in turn gave rise to a great desire to collect; voyages were a course leading to the collection of scientific specimens from natural history and objects of culture. The subsequent and often disastrous shipwrecks, mutinies and encounters between Europeans and Indigenous people had effects which shaped the identities of many islands. The exhibition strives not to be chronological and comprehensive in its exploration of islands, rather to study how they are characterised through the University’s collections.

23 February - 16 July 2017

Noel Shaw Gallery, first floor, Baillieu Library.

Public Programs:

Exhibition curator Kerrianne Stone will give a floor talk about the exhibition Plotting the island: dreams, discovery and disaster
Wednesday 8 March 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Noel Shaw Gallery, first floor, Baillieu Library        
Booking

Dr Gerhard Wiesenfeldt on the history of navigation
Wednesday 15 March 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library
Booking

Plotting the Exhibition
Wednesday 5 April 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library
Booking

Mutiny of the Bounty: Freedom and Slavery in the Age of Enlightenment
Wednesday 12 April 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library
Booking

Indigenous Rock Art and Printmaking
Monday 8 May 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library
Booking

Tour of the Map Collection
Thursday 18 May 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Map Collection, fourth floor, ERC Library
Booking

Professor Wallace Kirsop on Gabriel de Foigny’s novel La Terre Australe connue
Thursday 6 July 2017 (in association with Melbourne Rare Book Week)
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library
Booking