The stuff of history exhibition
Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
Curated by Jonathan Holmes
Also exhibited in New art from Tasmania, James Makin Gallery, Collingwood, Victoria
Curated by Dr Peter Hill
The Truth, Deep Water, Clouds, Stain, Orb
5 Digital Prints on Hahnemuhle paper
90 x 116 cm each print
The Truth 2008
The truth is part of a series of works inspired by the life and work of Henry Savery, Australia's first novelist, who is buried on the Isle of the Dead at Port Arthur.
Savery's largely autobiographical novel, Quintus Servinton, published in 1831, tells the story of a well-educated man who tragically falls from grace by forging bills of exchange. He is transported to Van Diemen's land as punishment and, ironically, is set to work in the Hobart Treasury. While Savery's novel has a happy ending, his real life ends on a much sadder note. After re-offending by forging more bills of exchange, he is sent to Port Arthur where he spends the final 18 months of life. His death is likely to have been the result of suicide.
These large scale digital prints are a meditation on Savery's tragic life and the links between truth, history, the written word and individual destiny. They were developed from photographs taken at Port Arthur and samples of Savery's original handwriting held in the State Library of Tasmania.
This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.