Submarine sculpture inspired by crocodile

24 june – 28 october 2023

Submarine sculpture inspired by crocodile

(Featured Image): The Investigator (maquette), 1994, by Anton Hasell

JCU Library is fortunate to have collections of unique and rare resources — including artworks — of regional and national significance, describing life in the tropics.

In 2020, James Cook University celebrated its 50th Anniversary. To highlight this milestone, 50 precious treasures were selected from the JCU Library Special Collections and presented in a multimedia exhibition, 50 Treasures — Celebrating 50 Years of James Cook University at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Accompanying the exhibition were digital versions of each treasure designed to provide an enduring legacy and inspire future generations of researchers.

Handdrawn architectural sketches of FNQ home from Val Russell’s Sketchbooks.
Woodblocks used for relief printing

(L- R): Val Russell’s Sketchbooks, (1969 – 2000); The Movement for Responsible Coastal Development (MRCD) Archive, (1990 – 2016), Woodblocks used for relief printing, from the artist Ben Trupperbaumer. 

The genesis for the idea of the 50 Treasures exhibition emerged from Bronwyn McBurnie’s experience working in the JCU Library Special Collections for the past decade, where she had the opportunity to become familiar with the many treasures in the Library’s collections.

Bronwyn has stated, “One of the main reasons for creating the exhibition was our understanding that people continue to have a strong desire to see the real thing even when a digital version is available”. 

For 50 Treasures Revisited, the Cairns Museum team has selected 17 treasures which resonate with Far North Queensland and can be accommodated in the Museum’s small gallery spaces. It was a challenging process as there were so many wonderful items which speak to the history of the region. The final selection of treasures is diverse in format and topics. It includes a combination of physical and digital artefacts, among them — original manuscripts (including diaries), artworks, historical sketches, photo albums and three-dimensional objects.

Framed image of "The Armorial Ensigns of James Cook University of North Queensland"
Artwork by Mornington Island artist Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey

(L-R): The Armorial Ensigns of James Cook University of North Queensland, 1973, by Morris Juppenlatz and F.W. Robinson, with Artists and Scriveners of the College of Arms, London; Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey, Untitled, (n.d), Bark painting, Mornington Island.

This is a unique opportunity to explore the people, places and events that have shaped the tropical environment in which we live. We hope you enjoy this exhibition and are inspired to explore further by visiting the digital treasures and their stories at NQHeritage@JCU.

Photography by Michael Marzik (2020).

Learn more about 50 Treasure Revisited

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