by ANDREW DELANEY
November 2023 - January 2024
In the year of 1836, a young Charles Darwin sailed on board a ship called the Beagle into the port of old Hobart Town in Van Diemen's land.
Taking on stores and fresh supplies during this brief stopover before their voyage back to England, several important crates of specimens and journals were mysteriously misplaced having been sent on ahead on another ship. They were never seen again.
Then in 2011, during a redevelopment of the dockside area in Hobart, workers uncovered a walled-up vault that had been left untouched for 180 years. Its contents now brought to light and re-imagined in this exhibition by artist Andrew Delaney, sheds new light on a man whose very search for answers would not only make him question his own thoughts on evolution and where we came from but on the very nature of faith itself ...
"Tassie has inspired another mystical treasure finding from Geelong artist Andrew Delaney, whose recent exhibition Darwin: A Reimagining brought to light a chest of historical artefacts purportedly left behind in Hobart when the famous evolutionist set sail on The Beagle back to England in 1836.
Among the works is a delightful bit of cryptozoology with fossils, a creation chessboard battlefield dinosaurs facing off against a phalanx of Christian authorities, skulls, eggs, monkeys...
It's like a mini-museum of scientific Victoriana with its Tarzan-like ape-man, tiny finches wrapped and packed for travel, an ethereal hanging Beagle sun-catcher, palaeontological skeletons, marine and bottled specimens, logbooks, topographic maps, microscopes, plants, squid - even a vicious-looking crown of thorns, reflecting Darwin's trials as much as Christ's."
"Our Cryptic Creature Tales"