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On Albatross Island

An exhibition catalogue of artwork by Richard Wastell and Matthew Newton, with essays from Peter Hay and Dr Rachael Alderman.

In 2014, artists Richard Wastell and Matthew Newton accompanied a team of scientists led by Dr Rachael Alderman on expeditions to remote Albatross Island, Bass Strait, home to over 5000 breeding pairs of Tasmania’s endemic Shy Albatross.

The exhibition On Albatross Island showcased Richard and Matthews’ individual artistic responses to this unique environment while speaking to the important scientific based conservation work being done there.

The exhibition was presented by Bett Gallery and Queen Victoria Art Gallery. Supported by Pennicott Foundation, Purves Environmental Fund, Bookend Trust, CSIRO and the Tasmanian Government.

Albatrossity – An albatross-inspired artistic adventure

This booklet, in two parts, is about an enormous creature with a majestic beak and wings that span over two metres. The Shy Albatross is an ocean loving seabird that glides over rolling waves with the barest of effort. The storms which we humans huddle away from are met with a gentle dip of the wing. In part one Dr Rachael Alderman’s essay describes what we currently know about the albatross and what we are trying to discover.

In part two we will relive an adventure that brought this elegant bird into classrooms around Australia during August and September 2015. Students followed reports by Andrew Hughes as he paddled a sea kayak around the islands of north western Bass Strait. The aim was to sample the world of the Shy Albatross and get a sense of its environment by becoming a part of it.

Both parts are illustrated by student artwork inspired by the Shy Albatross and undertaken during and just after the Search for the Shy Albatross expedition. The schools who contributed art are Avoca Primary School, Lauderdale Primary School, Moonah Primary School, Newstead Primary School, Scotch Oakburn College (Junior School), St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School and Ulverstone Primary School.

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