Australian Garden History Society
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ACT Branch: Lecture Ocean’s Gay Flowers – Uncovering the Mysteries of Australian seaweed collections of the 19th century

13 June 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST

Julie Ryder, award winning art-science practitioner, describes her journey to identify the anonymous collector of an album of seaweed specimens from the 19th century. This quest began with her arts residency at the National Museum of Australia in 2016. Her research connects this album with others held in the collections of several Australian institutions, provides new information and subsequent provenance to these holdings, and focuses on a very prolific and largely unknown collector of algae. In 2018 Julie followed clues in the albums to Ireland, where she uncovered the missing links held within several cultural institutions. The residencies and research for over two years provided the inspiration for her solo exhibition ‘The Hidden Sex’, held at Craft ACT earlier this year.

Julie Ryder is a professional textile designer and artist who has gained international recognition for her work that combines her expertise and interest in both science and art. After a preliminary career working in science, Julie retrained as a textile designer, graduating from the Melbourne Institute of Textiles in 1990 and going on to do a Masters of Arts at ANU.

She was awarded the 2004 ANAT Synapse Artist in Residence to work alongside Dr Christine Cargill, curator of the Cryptogam Herbarium at the ANBG, and they have maintained a close working relationship on several art-sci projects and exhibitions. Since then Julie has held prestigious arts residencies at CSIRO; Asialink, the National Museum of Australia, the Ulster Museum in Belfast and at Cill Riallaig in Ireland.

Since becoming obsessed by all things seaweed, she can either be found on a beach somewhere collecting specimens, or in a herbarium basement poring through 19th century collections. Occasionally she surfaces to conduct textile workshops in natural dyeing, indigo dyeing and screen-printing, both nationally and internationally.

Her work is represented in many public and private collections.  For more information visit her website at

Venue:  Theatre, Canberra Museum and Gallery

Cost:  $15 members, $20 non-members including refreshments

Bookings:  through Trybooking – booking code available in April


13 June 2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm AEST
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