July Meeting

Wed 13 July 2022 07:30pm

Bonnie Koopmans - An introduction to Natural History Illustration
Geoffrey Dabb - The bird art of Ellis Rowan, and the strange story of her bird of paradise paintings

The July meeting will again be a normal face-to-face one held at our usual venue, but as school virus rules for after-hours public meetings in school premises remain unchanged (see under Events on https://www.education.act.gov.au/public-school-life/covid-school-arrangements/school-advice) you will again need to wear a mask and also check in using the Check in CBR QR code, as noted in the COG COVID Safety Plan available on the COG web site (COG-CGGS-Checklist-COVID-19_09Mar22.pdf (canberrabirds.org.au).
The short presentation will be by local scientific illustrator and natural history artist Bonnie Koopmans, on “An introduction to Natural History Illustration”.

Bonnie will look at the research and process behind scientific and natural history illustrations, and why the field continues to be relevant today.

The main presentation will be by Geoffrey Dabb on “The bird art of Ellis Rowan, and the strange story of her bird of paradise paintings”.

The year 2022 marks 100 years from the death of Ellis Rowan, justly famous as a prolific painter of wildflowers and as an adventurous traveller. The Ellis Rowan collection in the National Library of Australia, with more than 900 paintings, is said to contain about one third of Ellis’s work. In the NLA are about 80 of her paintings of New Guinea birds, including birds of paradise. In an exhibition at the end of 2020 these were presented as the result of visits by Ellis to New Guinea during World War 1. However, it is now clear, in light of what we know now about birds of paradise and New Guinea, that the story of those paintings is more complicated. This talk is a version of one given in the ANBG Thursday series, and is the result of research conducted throughout 2021, prompted by the NLA exhibition and by gaps in the published biographies. It draws on Geoffrey’s own experience of several years travelling around New Guinea (1962-1979).

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