The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt
The Atrium, Level G
The University of Melbourne
T: (03) 9035 5280
The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt by Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver
To be launched with accompanying exhibition cabinet. Guest speaker is Justin Clemens.
From the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770 to classic children's tale Dot and the Kangaroo, Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver examine hunting narratives in novels, visual art and memoirs to discover how the kangaroo became a favourite quarry, a relished food source, an object of scientific fascination, and a source of violent conflict between settlers and Aboriginal people.
The kangaroo hunt worked as a rite of passage and an expression of settler domination over native species and land. But it also enabled settlers to begin to comprehend the complexity of bush ecology, raising early concerns about species extinction and the need for conservation and the preservation of habitat.
This launch will also feature the new exhibition cabinet on the first floor of Arts West titled The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt, which shows a selection of imagery ranging from Stubbs’s ‘Kongouro’ (1772) housed at Royal Museums Greenwich, London to objects held in the University’s vast collection of material culture, such as Ethel Pedley’s classic children’s fantasy, Dot and the Kangaroo (1899).
Published by The Miegunyah Press.
Image: James Alfred Turner (1850–1908), The kangaroo hunt (detail) 1873, oil on canvas. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Purchased 1994, the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund.