What was glimpsed from a ship and unknown by Dutchmen Frederick de Houtman and Jacob Debel was that the great southern land was already the Country of the First Nations people. Yamaji people have a deep cultural connection and knowledge of this place. A discovery 400 years ago appears insignificant compared to the tens of thousands of years of First Nation people connection to this Country.
Ecology of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
The Houtman Abrolhos Islands beauty, pristine environment, rich ecology both marine and terrestrial is spectacular and inspiring. From the tiniest marine creature to the aerial views from a plane images of the islands evoke many emotions and creative responses.
History of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
There is more to the Houtman Abrolhos island than just its shipwreck history. There has been guano mining, a fishing history and much more. What intrigues you about the Houtman Abrolhos Islands history?
Dutch VOC Maritime Trade ‘The Golden Age, Spice at any Price’.
The bounty of the Golden Age in the Netherlands in the 17th and 18th century with its flourishing art, exotic goods and desired spices present an opulent picture however what was the price? Many indigenous peoples faraway were impacted by the trade of spices and the military force of the Dutch VOC. This theme asks people to look deeper into the Golden Age and explore the history of the VOC Spice Trade, what was gained and what was lost?
The Southern Night sky
Frederik de Houtman was the first to publish a Catalogue of the Stars and Constellations of the Southern Hemisphere including the Southern Cross. Yamaji people have a deep connection to the night sky and Australians have used the Southern Cross as a symbol of National identity. We can all be looking at the same thing but experience it based on our own cultural perspective.
The Houtman Abrolhos Islands have inspired the generation of many artworks and we will curate new and old works that explore the many stories of the Islands.
Selected artworks will be exhibited from the 27th July 2019 to the 11th August 2019 at the Queens Park Theatre in Geraldton. Link to google map?
The opening of the exhibition will be part of the Balayi-Open Your Eyes! Houtman 400 Festival. This will be a ticketed event on the evening of Saturday 27th July 2019.