Judith Klavins Exhibition ‘Stories in Ink: John Scot’s diary 1836-1847, King Island, Tasmania’
– on show at the Allport Museum of Fine Arts 31 Murray St., Hobart Tasmania from 14 October 2016 until 25 February 2017
In January 2016 I visited King Island and the site of John Scot’s hut at Yellow Rock, accompanied by local historian, Christian Robinson. As I stood on the hill overlooking New Year’s and Christmas Islands, I began to appreciate the physical and emotional strength required to survive on a remote island in the middle of Bass Strait in the 1830’s, where, to this day, the‘Roaring Forties’ conjures stories of gale force winds, shipwrecks and loss of life.
‘Stories in Ink: John Scot’s diary 1836-1847, King Island, Tasmania’ is a personal response to the manuscript diary of retired sealer, John Scot, which I first discovered online via the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office.
This exhibition is the culmination of two years spent researching my recently discovered Scottish and Tasmanian Aboriginal ancestors. My investigation has also opened up connections with living relatives of John Scot and his partner Mary, an Aboriginal woman from Tasmania.
Emerging from my ongoing exploration of human presence within the landscape, this series of linocut prints, and oil and charcoal sketches provides a visual narrative of the ebb and flow of life on King Island, and investigates themes of cultural co-existence, hardship, physical isolation, resilience, loneliness, faith and daily routine.