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Reproduced courtesy of Ann Thomson

Botany Bay III

Date: 2013
Display dimensions: 560 × 430 × 30 mm
Overall: 562 × 435 × 30 mm
Medium: Collage and oil stick on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Ann Thomson
Object Name: Collage
Object No: 00054533

User Terms

    A collage titled 'Botany Bay III' by Ann Thomson depicting a Royal Navy officer in full uniform face to face to an Australian Indigenous person and a kangaroo in the background.

    The smooth realism of the uniforms contrasts with the rough earthy textures of the surrounds, while formal braiding stripes counterbalanced by fluid horizontal markings on tall burial pole-like forms, suggesting a collision of two different worlds.
    SignificanceThis piece by Ann Thomson forms part of the East Coast Encounter exhibtion and is significant in providing a different perspective of first contact and European occupation in Australia and encouraging viewers to do the same.
    HistoryThis series suggests strange presences in the landscape. Ann Thomson’s semi-abstract works do not provide a literal story. Instead, they invite us to immerse ourselves in the tangle of lines, colours and textures and to allow our own imaginations to find forms such as animals, humans and birds. Fragments of crisp, precise uniforms – flashes of buttons and braids – emerge from this rugged environment like glimpses of something alien that has arrived without warning. In this way Thomson suggests the jolt of encounter experienced by Aboriginal people when Cook and his crew first set ashore at Kamay/Botany Bay.

    'Botany Bay III' is one of a series of works by Ann Thomson produced for East Coast Encounter, a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lieutenant James Cook and his crew with Indigenous people in 1770.

    Cook's voyage along the Australian east coast has become central to national historical narratives. The East Coast Encounter project asked artists to re-envisage this seminal journey by imaginatively exploring moments of contact between two world views during these encounters. It also brought these events into the present by incorporating artists' reflections on their relevance today, and their responses to visits to significant contact locations. Topics such as encounter, impact, differing perspectives, nature and culture and views of country are investigated.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

    Primary title: Botany Bay III

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