The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s (TMAG) latest contemporary art installation explores the mythology of the Tasmanian Tiger.
James Newitt’s To Catch a Tiger is the third and final exhibition in TMAG’s Star/Dust series of contemporary art installations, following Lucy Bleach’s Volcano Lover and Brigita Ozolins’ The Reading Room.
“To Catch a Tiger explores both the historical evidence and our collective memory of the Tasmanian Tiger,” Ms Giddings said.
“Seventy-five years after the death of the last-known thylacine in Hobart Zoo, this exhibition highlights the bond Tasmanians have with the thylacine, and the idea it may still exist in the wild.
“This exhibition is perfectly timed to capitalise on the success of the film, The Hunter, which has taken the myth and wonder of the Tasmanian Tiger to national and international audiences.
“The thylacine holds a special place in the hearts of Tasmanians, and James Newitt explores the strong connection we feel to the animal through his imagery, interviews and storytelling.
“It is part museum display and public archive, and part fantasy exploration.
“The cave-like installation combines interviews with thylacine experts and amateur enthusiasts, and historical images of thylacine material, with the artist’s own imagery to explore themes of mythology and scientific ‘truth’.
Images of thylacine material from the collections of the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum fur Naturkunde (Berlin) and TMAG appear alongside Newitt’s original filmic works.
The installation also includes reinterpreted sections of a diorama that was recently removed from TMAG’s Zoology gallery due to Stage One of the redevelopment.
“Giving part of one of TMAG’s most popular displays a second life within this exhibition creates a further link between the history of zoological display, and our fascination with an animal most of us have only ever seen within the museum,” Ms Giddings said.
The Star/Dust series, which is presented with the support of Detached Cultural Organisation, aims to attract and engage a wide cross section of the community with contemporary art experiences.
The exhibition is supported by an education program and a range of public programs that have been developed in consultation with TMAG curators and art educators. This includes weekly lunchtime tours of the exhibition, and an artist talk at 1:30 pm Wednesday, 30 November 2011.
To Catch a Tiger opens to the public on Saturday, 5 November 2011 and will be on display until 12 March 2012. Admission to the exhibition and TMAG public programs is free.