Thomas Bock

16 August 2017

Portrait of girl sitting
Thomas Bock, Mathinna, 1842, watercolour, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery collection (Credit: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery)
  • Sector: Arts and Culture
  • Country location: Australia, United Kingdom
  • Grantee: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Project description

Thomas Bock is an exhibition of works on paper and daguerreotypes by a Birmingham-born convict artist conveying at once personal experience and an extraordinary historical moment. It includes the original series of the artist’s extraordinary portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal People (1832-35), portraits of bushrangers before and after execution, nudes, post-mortem studies, and other likenesses. While Bock is recognised in Australia as a significant artist, he is unknown in the UK where he worked as an engraver and miniaturist before transportation.

The exhibition is a contemporary interpretation of colonial material, with the curatorial premise based on imaginative inquiry into the implications of Thomas Bock’s artistic achievement. The public program will quicken consciousness-raising in the UK regarding the culture and vitality of Aboriginal People in Tasmania today. Events will also include a symposium organised by the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, London in partnership with the Australian High Commission and various talks and roundtable discussions in the exhibition itself at Ikon Gallery.

Collaboratively curated by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and Ikon Gallery, UK, Thomas Bock brings the artist back to Birmingham, the city he never returned to during his lifetime.

Key dates

  • Exhibition opening, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 6 December 2017
  • Exhibition and public program, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 7 December 2017 to 11 March 2018
  • Reception, Australian High Commission, London, 16 December 2017
  • Exhibition opening, TMAG, Hobart, 16 August 2018
  • Exhibition and public program, TMAG, Hobart, 17 August 2018 to 11 November 2018
  • Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program grant offer: $57,500.00
  • Total project value: $233,835.00
Last Updated: 16 August 2017