Beckler’s Botanical Bounty: The flora of Menindie
This exhibition by twenty Melbourne-based botanical artists was inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Victorian Exploring Expedition (VEE), better known as the Burke and Wills Expedition, and the work of pioneer botanical collector Dr Hermann Beckler.
Beckler was in charge of the VEE Supply Party, which remained in the outback area of Menindee on the Darling River in south-west New South Wales for some three months. During this time, Beckler collected 120 plant species in the Menindee region. His original plant collection is now a national treasure, housed at the National Herbarium Victoria.
Over eight consecutive years, twenty-six artists have visited Beckler’s collecting grounds around Menindie to locate, collect, preserve and illustrate the same 120 plants species that Beckler collected in 1860–61.
The works provide an accurate representation of the plant subjects, as well as revealing the different style of each artist. This unique collection of artworks includes a range of additional materials that are integral to the project, as well as working drawings and diaries from many of the artists portray their artistic process and experiences in the outback. It is a unique expression of art, science, history and country.
An Art Gallery of Ballarat exhibition