Next up at 4a is Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu, a group exhibition inspired by botanist Sir Joseph Banks and the research he undertook as part of the HMS Endeavour voyage 1768–1771.
Under Lieutenant James Cook, the then-little-known Banks collected a crazy huge amount of plant life from all across the Asia Pacific, including approximately 1600 species that at the time were completely new to the scientific world. It was exciting stuff, yes, but the exhibition is interested in the complex ideas of power and 'colonial prejudice' that arise when you consider these pioneers named and defined what was new to them, creating imposed systems of vocabulary and hierarchies for describing and making sense of this strange 'new world' that we still use today.
Artists including Daniel Boyd, Newell Harry, Fiona Pardington, Michael Parekowhai and James Tylor aim to 'disturb the past, by reframing and reworking the mythologies of nationhood' established by Banks' work. Combining archival and recent works, along with a series of copperplate etchings of Australian botanical illustrations by Banks himself, Not Niwe, Not Nieuw, Not Neu is sure to get you thinking.
Image: Michael Parekowhai, Robert Hayden, 2004, sparrow, two pot paint and aluminium. Image courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland.