Dingos, death and drawing

This autumn so far has seen a whole host of exciting new events at the Royal Museums Greenwich for the Travellers’ Tails project to investigate ideas around exploration inspired by Stubbs’s kangaroo and dingo paintings currently on display in the Queen’s House.

TT Exchange

We kicked off the programme with a series of informal drop-in conversations guided by art historian Lucrezia Walker. Each was a lively discussion and debate with visitors to the Art and Science of Exploration exhibition around Captain Cook’s voyages, Stubbs’s painting techniques and watery stories of Leigh-on-Sea and what not to do when coming across a dingo in the bush.

photo 2 (2)

In early October Shamanic Minister Emma Curtis and Curator Katy Barrett took visitors on a journey to discover Captain Cook’s voyages of exploration, who he took with  him, what they did and saw, followed by sinking into a meditative journey to explore their own inner world.

The first seminar in the Travellers’ Tails series saw arctic-explorer-to-be Lisa Pook discussing endurance, climate change and what being an explorer means today. Botanical artist Lucy Smith added tales of her travels aboard the replica Endeavour, and reflections on what working as a botanical artist aboard Cook’s first voyage might have been like for Joseph Banks. See what was discussed via the visualisations here –

Lost in Translation – discussion

Lost in Translation – Lisa Pook

Lost in Translation – Lucy Smith

The curatorial and learning teams took a journey into the archives for Halloween and were joined by visitors in the Queen’s House to explore taxidermy demonstrations, hear tales of death, adventure and exploration from the archives, tour the Art and Science of Exploration exhibition by candlelight and study the life models for death drawing.
Death drawing

The next in the series of seminars is on 20 November – Finding voices and re-shaping history  –

Join Dr Lowri M. Jones, Research Fellow at University of Nottingham and artist-researcher Dr Edwina Fitzpatrick to question what the alternative histories of exploration are to that of a series of heroes and the role local peoples and intermediaries had and have today in the making of geographical, ethnographic and anthropological knowledge.

Seminar tickets £8/£6 members and concessions (drinks and nibbles included in the ticket price). Full programme below:

Travellers’ Tails seminars

Evening seminars with a limited number of places and a glass of wine, the Travellers’ Tails series examines key questions around the history of art, science and exploration, drawing on George Stubbs’s ‘Kangaroo’ and ‘Dingo’ paintings recently acquired by the Royal Museums Greenwich. Artists, scientists, explorers and museum professionals will consider the nature of 18th-century exploration and how these histories can be experienced in a modern museum setting.

Finding voices and re-shaping history – Thursday 20 November

Join Dr Lowri M. Jones, Research Fellow at University of Nottingham and artist-researcher Dr Edwina Fitzpatrick to question what the alternative histories of exploration are to that of a series of heroes and the role local peoples and intermediaries had and have today in the making of geographical, ethnographic and anthropological knowledge.

Empire and the museum – Thursday 4 December

With Dr Sarah Longair, Education Manager at the British Museum and Professor Elizabeth Edwards, Director of Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University, explore how Empire is represented in museums and what is missing and how the historical and contemporary exploration process can be documented and displayed to ensure other voices are included.

Arts and science: an enlightened approach – Thursday 29 January 2015

Join artist Emma Smith and Dr Tim O’Riley, Tutor at the Royal College of Art to investigate the role the arts play in the interpretation of science and exploration today, why the perception and practice of art and science has separated into two distinct disciplines and how this is being addressed/ changing today.

Programme for the seminars

18.00               Wine and nibbles

18.15                Speakers’ presentations and discussion

20.00              Your chance to view the Art and Science of Exploration exhibition

Blogpost written by Ros Croker, Participation Project Manager