Artwork celebrates northern Australia’s unique nature 

 Mrs Darwin’s Birds 2010

Art lovers can take a journey through the unique natural and cultural history of northern Australia at a new exhibition opening at Charles Darwin University Art Gallery this week.

The Nature of Things will feature more than 140 works including a selection of 24 works by Dr Carole Wilson, to inspire viewers to look more closely at the beauty and wonder of the natural world, at “small things forgotten” and to think, about the nature of things.

Dr Wilson’s arrival in the Territory in 2009 coincided with the bicentennial celebrations marking the naturalist Charles Darwin’s birth: a time of reflection and debate worldwide on Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection.

Inspired by her two-year residency in the Top End at CDU’s School of Creative Arts and Humanities, Dr Wilson began a study of the natural world and discovered a new array of cultivated pleasures, ripe for germination in her art.

Fashioned from second-hand, cast-off materials and found objects, Dr Wilson’s works are enhanced by the careful cutting, stitching and sewing invested in their transformation as works of art. 

A highlight of the exhibition, entitled Mrs Darwin’s Birds, was created by stencilling and hand-cutting 30 birds from old contour maps discovered in an expanding file in a second-hand bookshop.

As part of the The Nature of Things exhibition, a free public program will be held on Saturday, 16 April from 1pm to 4pm at the CDU Art Gallery at Casuarina campus.

The program includes an artist's floor talk with the exhibition curator and presentations by CDU senior lecturer in Botany and Restoration Ecology Dr Sean Bellairs, CDU community engagement officer of the Lakeside Drive Community Garden Anjea Travers and guided tours of the Chinese and Indonesian Gardens at CDU.

The Nature of Things, opens at the CDU Art Gallery on Wednesday, 13 April 2011 at 6pm. The Administrator of the Northern Territory, Mr Tom Pauling AO QC, will launch the exhibition that will run until Friday, 10 June 2011.

The exhibition will also include more than 100 selected works drawn from the CDU Art Collection that capture other artists’ ideas and experiences of nature, gardens and the environment – both natural and cultural – of northern Australia.

For more information about the exhibition or the free public program visit: