Winifred Curtis at work in the Tasmanian Herbarium, 1969. University of Tasmania.

Among the plants

Last week, we installed nine objects from the Museum’s collections in an exhibition at CSIRO Discovery in Canberra. These objects – including microscopes, a vasculum, and a billy-can – tell us much about the careers of the women scientists that used them, and about women’s participation in scientific endeavour in the last 150 years.

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Considering the horse form, 2014.
Photograph by Margaret Hogan, Red Moon Creative 
National Museum of Australia

Making ‘Silent Conversation’

At the heart of the Spirited: Australia’s horse story exhibition is the question ‘how has the connection between horses and humans shaped life this country?’

Our research into Australia’s horse history has revealed many complex and profound human responses to horses. We also want visitors to consider the other side of that connection – how do horses think and feel about us?

At the centre of the exhibition is a meditation in steel on the horse/human bond – artist Harrie Fasher’s sculpture ‘Silent Conversation’.

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Our Rockhampton, an ex-racehorse now competing as a 3-day-eventer. Image supplied by Renée Geelen.

What happens to all those racehorses?

What happens to racehorses when they leave the track?

Last week I was contacted by a number of people critical of our decision to display of a can of ‘Horsielicious’, created by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR), in the Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story exhibition. The can was used in 2014 protests aimed at raising awareness of the need for a ‘retirement plan’ for horses involved in racing.

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