Lisa Slade




Monash University, Australia


Lisa Slade is Project Curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia. She is also a PhD candidate at Monash University. Recently she curated the exhibition Curious Colony: a twenty first century Wunderkammer for Newcastle Region Art Gallery where she was the curatorial consultant. This exhibition linked her research and curatorial interests and was the first in a series of exhibitions driven by her research into Kunst and Wunderkammern culture, colonial collecting and contemporary art. Previously, Lisa lectured in Art History and Theory at the University of Newcastle. She continues her role in tertiary education through the collaboration between the University of Adelaide and the Art Gallery of South Australia, to which she contributes as a lecturer in a range of post graduate courses.


A Paper Cabinet: The Skottowe Manuscript


The Skottowe manuscript is one of the country's first illustrated compendiums of natural and cultural history and yet it remains largely unknown to this day. Comprised of watercolours by convict artist Richard (TR) Browne and accompanying text by the Commandant of the Newcastle convict settlement from 1811 until 1814, Lieutenant Thomas Skottowe, the manuscript was completed by 1813. Through both text and image, the manuscript registers the sense of wonder for the new world and includes personal responses to the myriad species illustrated, and cites the local Aboriginal name for birds, animals, fish, insects, tools and weapons. Much of the motivation for creating the manuscript, and for the frenzied kleptomania of the colonial period in general, was the chance of finding a specimen that had never been described or illustrated. Despite Skottowe believing that he had in fact achieved this, the manuscript was not published until 1988. This paper explores the status and legacy of the Skottowe manuscript as an 'unbuilt' text and suggests some reasons why the manuscript failed to have an afterlife as printmedia.It also investigates the creative possibilities of misprision by exploring the ricochets between early modern culture and the colonial imagination.


Wednesday 28 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm





Back to program
Back to home page