The intertidal area (also called the littoral zone) is where the land and sea meet. It is where different environments meet, mingle and exchange information. It is where French and Aboriginal cultures met on the shores of Recherche Bay in 1792.
After the Bruni d’Entrecasteaux expedition had discovered Recherche Bay, mapped Tasmania’s coast and returned to France with 1000’s of plant specimens collected by Jacques Labillardiere the French government sent another expedition under the command of Nicolas Baudin to finish the mapping of “Nouvelle-Holland” and collect ethnographic and geological information.
The Baudin expedition’s first landing in Australia on May 27, 1801 was near Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia where they began to collect, “les premiers objets de nos collections Autralasiques”. Due to extensive national parks much of that coastline has been retained in a relatively natural state giving us a glimpse of what the French explorers would have encountered 200 years ago.
In this new body of work I am looking at what came after the d’Entrecasteaux expedition. I have utilised the map of the d’Entrecasteaux channel/Bruny Island as a link between the beginnings of the French exploration of Australia at Recherche Bay and subsequent exploration and mapping of the continent.
By layering images of the Western Australian coast, solar plate etchings, collagraph plates (created directly from littoral zone of the beach), paper dyed by hand (using Australian native plants) and acrylic mediums I have created a body of work that illustrates the information gathering process of exploration through some of the multitude of processes available to the print artist.
First exhibited Nolan Art Gallery, December 2017