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Robyn Stacey

"Since 2001 I have been interested in historic natural history collections both in Australia and overseas. The works reflect my interest both in the collections themselves and early science in Australia and overseas. All of these collections are historically and scientifically significant and are either not open to the public or only a very small percentage of the collection is on display making the exhibitions and books the only way that the general public can access these collections.

I am interested in exploring the potential application of photographic and photomedia visual design techniques in the representation of knowledge. Photography is the perfect tool to express this juncture between art and science. The amplification of vision permitted by imaging technology combined with the interpretative and creative quality of photography makes it a compelling medium to research and reveal a particular perspective on these collections.

The works are photographs of the actual collection material; the specimens, the scientific models, the books, etc and reference either the scientific or objective style of presentation usually on a white background or the pictorial or romantic approach to natural history depiction which has a more surreal or science fiction look e.g. Surrender series, and the Skull lenticular work from the exhibition Super Models.

The aim is to reveal the collections and to highlight the historical significance for society and science in a contemporary way with the hindsight of the modern philosophical, historical, and scientific points of view, but to also experience the collection, the natural history, and the cultural objects through C18th and C19th eyes.

(Robyn Stacey 2006)