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Anatomy Museum, 6th Floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus

Strand

London

WC2R

United Kingdom

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Menzies Centre for Australian Studies & Ikon

Presents

Thomas Bock Symposium

Convicts, Race, and Art

This one-day symposium is a collaboration between King’s College London and Ikon.

Bock was one of the most important artists working in Australia during the colonial years. He trained as an engraver and miniature painter in Birmingham before, in 1823, being found guilty of “administering concoctions of certain herbs … with the intent to cause miscarriage”, for which his sentence was transportation for fourteen years. Bock arrived in Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land (present-day Tasmania, Australia) the following year, where he was quickly pressed into service as a convict artist, engraving bank notes, illustrations for a local almanac, cheques, commercial stationery and so on. An early commission was a number of portraits of captured bushrangers, before and after execution by hanging, including the notorious cannibal Alexander Pearce. Bock’s portraits of Aboriginal Tasmanians are some of the most important in Australian art, including that featured here of Mathinna, daughter of Towterer and his wife Wongerneep of the Lowreenne people.

Experts will contextualise Bock’s life and work, while engaging in debates about ‘art in a time of colony’, the representation of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, and the politics and experience of transportation from the Midlands to colonial Australia.

Programme

10:00-10:30 Registration, Anatomy Museum, Level 6, King’s Building

10:30-1045 Welcome by Dr Ian Henderson, Director MCAS

10:45-12:30 Industrial Birmingham to Colonial Van Diemen’s Land


Dr Malcolm Dick, University of Birmingham
Thomas Bock’s Birmingham: Industry and Culture in “the city of a thousand trades

Professor Judith A. Allen, Indiana University Bloomington
Thomas Bock’s conviction: Men, and the rise and fall of the new capital crime of abortion, 1803-37

Dr David Meredith, University of Oxford
On the transportation system and Van Diemen’s Land


12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:00 Convicts, Art, and Knowledge


Professor Clare Anderson, University of Leicester
Convicts and Penal Colonies in 19th-Century Science and Collecting: A Global Perspective

Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll, University of Birmingham
Thomas Bock and Edmund Clark: Savagery and Redemption in Ikon's criminal portraiture, colonial and contemporary

Dr Ian Henderson, Menzies Centre King’s College London
Green Arcades Project: Art and Sociability in Nineteenth-Century Hobart Town


15:00-15:30 Afternoon Tea

15:30-17:00 Bock and the Tasmanians


Jane Stewart, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
On Bock and the history of art in Tasmania

Dr Gaye Sculthorpe, British Museum
Thomas Bock and the mystery of Trukanini's necklace

Dr Julie Gough, Artist
The race of representation: What the works by Bock and his colonial contemporaries offer on the circumstances of Tasmanian Aboriginal people


17:30-19:30 Reception for Ikon’s Thomas Bock Exhibition

18:00 Jonathan Watkins, Director, Ikon Gallery on the exhibition

Image: Thomas Thomas Bock Mithina (Mathinna) (1842) Watercolour Presented by J H Clark 1951, AG290
Courtesy Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

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Location

Anatomy Museum, 6th Floor, King’s Building, Strand Campus

Strand

London

WC2R

United Kingdom

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