Hapticivism

Louise McAlpine exhibition

LOUISE MCALPINE

HAPTICIVISM: haptic + activism

An Artistic Imperative

MPhil Exhibition

15 April – 2 May 2015

The University Gallery

haptic
/ˈhæptɪk/ adjective
1. relating to or based on the sense of touch
As an art object maker the mediums I use to create installations are mainly of a textile nature. My visual and haptic senses combine to create my hand crafted oeuvre, but my sense of touch is the ‘curator’ in my studio. It negotiates with my other senses although the final word rests with ‘touch’. I constantly force my touch sense to dictate aesthetically in the decision making process. I acknowledge that with the dominance of the ‘visual’ in the field of art and in the ever increasing digital/virtual world, this becomes a daily challenge.

In today’s digitally dominated environment, it is difficult to not spend at least a few hours in touch with a digital interface. Significantly, it is at this point of contact with a digital device that the user is only in touch with one kind of tactile experience. These are smooth flat surfaces which are globally generic in shape, size and form. It is in this space that I choose to initiate my Hapticivism: an interruption of haptic action.

– Louise McAlpine, 2015

Please join the artist for the opening at the University Gallery:
Saturday 18 APRIL from 2pm

Manhattan and the merging of Modernism

Grant Vercoe Exhibition

GRANT VERCOE

Manhattan and the merging of Modernism

MPhil Exhibition

15 April – 2 May 2015

The University Gallery

Drawing inspiration from the great modern architectural icons of Manhattan, New York, my paintings aim to visually articulate the experience of the scale of this metropolis. This research explores recent responses to the architecture of Modernism, Neo-Modernism and post-modernist Deconstructive architecture.

This exhibition of paintings is drawn from a body of photographic images captured on a research trip to New York in June 2011.

– Grant Vercoe, 2015

Please join the artist for the opening at the University Gallery:
Saturday 18 April from 2pm

Rodoni Archive Now Online

Public Parade ‘Domain Artillery of the Front’, Sydney? c.1914

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the photographic glass and film negatives of Thomas James Rodoni (1882-1956) have now been digitised and are freely available in high resolution on our flickr site as The Rodoni Archive:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/sets/72157651638124931/

This amazing collection was donated in February 2014 by Thomas (‘TJ’) Rodoni’s son Bill to the Cultural Collections, UON-Library, with the assistance of family friends Chris and Frances Fussell.  Since Bill’s death in late 2014, other members of the family have stepped in and assisted in donating further negatives, and providing important papers to the University’s Archives. We thank Ian Rodoni and family for his help in the identification of family members and in providing family records to assist in the accessioning and description process. We also thank renown Hunter Valley military historian David Dial OAM for his help in describing the military related photographs documenting World War 1 patriotic recruitment drives across New South Wales, and military campaigns in German Papua New Guinea.

Special thanks has to go to our volunteers Natasha Schroder, and historians Ken Thornton and Dr Ann Hardy for their work on this project. Natasha scanned every glass negative, while Ken and Ann researched the historical background of each image, documenting as much as they could find on the dating, geo-tagging and synthesising information that is continuing to come in through our social media networks.

Dr Ann Hardy (Uni Historian) and Mark Sutherland (Associate Librarian Research and Information Services) (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

Dr Ann Hardy (Uni Historian) and Mark Sutherland (Associate Librarian Research and Information Services) (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

The initial upload of the negatives to our flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/ broke all our records with 119,000 hits in a single day. Since then, information continues to stream in from across the communities about the locations, buildings, streetscapes and people captured in the images.

Thanks to the wonderful team at the University Gallery led by Gillean Shaw, the exhibition Australia’s Forgotten ANZACS: Lost Images from Australia’s first conflict: the fall of German New Guinea curated by Gillean Shaw and Naomi Stewart was launched on the 27 March 2015 in the presence of Rodoni’s family and friends. Tess McLeod (nee Rodoni) travelled from Dorrigo to bring Thomas James Rodoni’s war medals to the Gallery so they could be exhibited with his photographs.

Naomi Stewart, one of the curators at the Exhibition launch 27 March 2015 (Photo: Chris Fussell)

Naomi Stewart, one of the curators, at the Exhibition launch 27 March 2015 (Photo: Chris Fussell)

Amir Mogadam (Uni Conservator) and Gionni Di Gravio (Uni Archivist) speaking at the Exhibition launch 27 March 2015 (Photo: Chris Fussell)

Amir Mogadam (Uni Conservator) and Gionni Di Gravio (Uni Archivist) speaking at the Exhibition launch 27 March 2015 (Photo: Chris Fussell)

Gillean Shaw (Curator) with -Tess McLeod (nee Rodoni) and husband Jim Mcleod (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

Gillean Shaw (Curator) with Tess McLeod (nee Rodoni) and husband Jim Mcleod (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

Tess McLeod (nee Rodoni) travelled all the way from Dorrigo to bring T.J. Rodoni's war medals could be part of the exhibition.

Tess McLeod (nee Rodoni) travelled all the way from Dorrigo so that her grand father T.J. Rodoni’s war medals could be part of the exhibition.

Ian Rodoni (right) grandson of T.J. Rodoni pictured with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andrew Parfitt, Uni Librarian Greg Anderson and Ian's wife at left (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

Ian Rodoni (right), grandson of T.J. Rodoni pictured with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Andrew Parfitt, Uni Librarian Greg Anderson and Ian’s wife at left (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

One of Rodoni's cameras, donated by Ian Rodoni, grand son of Thomas James Rodoni. (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

One of T.J. Rodoni’s cameras, donated by Ian Rodoni, grand son of Thomas James Rodoni. (Photo: Naomi Stewart)

Thomas James Rodoni was born in 1882 at Hotham East, Victoria, to Swiss and Irish parents. While living in Sydney in August 1914 as a man of 31, Rodoni joined the first Australian Imperial Force that would engage in the Great War: the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force.

T.J. Rodoni's Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force Discharge Papers 28th January 1915 (recto)

T.J. Rodoni’s Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force Discharge Papers 28th January 1915 (recto)

T.J. Rodoni's Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force Discharge Papers 28th January 1915 (verso)

T.J. Rodoni’s Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force Discharge Papers 28th January 1915 (verso)

A week after enlisting, Rodoni’s company embarked on the HMAS Berrima and sailed to German New Guinea among a fleet with orders to seize two wireless stations and to disable the German colonies there.

After the fall of German New Guinea, c.1914-1915

After the fall of German New Guinea, c.1914-1915

Rodoni’s unofficial photographs – many of them “candid” shots, captured in the moment – are a rare glimpse of this pivotal moment in Australia’s history. He has documented the energetic atmosphere of prewar Sydney and its surrounds, from civilian and military marches to battleships docked in Sydney Harbour, with accompanying crowds of people brought together for these special events. His camera voyaged with him on the expedition to the Pacific region, taking images both from the ship’s deck and then again on dry land after disembarking.

Letter to Rodoni from the close friend of a deceased soldier, Gilfillan, requesting a copy of a photograph of him (3rd September 1915)

Letter to Rodoni from Lillie Searle, close friend of a deceased soldier, Gilfillan, who died of typhoid fever on route from Alexandria to Gallipoli, requesting a copy of a rare photograph, 3rd September 1915.

Letter to Rodoni from the close friend of a deceased soldier, Gilfillan, requesting a copy of a photograph of him (3rd September 1915)

Letter to Rodoni from Lillie Searle, the close friend of a deceased soldier, Gilfillan, who died of typhoid fever on route from Alexandria to Gallipoli, requesting a copy of a rare photograph of him, 3rd September 1915.

Rodoni was stationed in New Guinea for five months with the AN&MEF after the successful capture of territory from the German forces. His striking images are testament to his ease with the camera, and the ease of his fellow servicemen around this avid amateur photographer. He used his camera to record daily events and significant moments in the expedition, and made several group portraits of the officers and soldiers in his company. Yet his images also suggest a genuine curiosity for the foreign people and places where he was stationed, and a love of the photographic medium in which he practiced during this early period of the war.

New Guinea Tribesmen circa 1914 - 1915

New Guinea Tribesmen circa 1914 – 1915

After leaving New Guinea with the AN&MEF and returning home to Australia in January 1915, Rodoni left the force to work in a Small Arms Factory manufacturing munitions for the war. He soon married and settled in Newcastle with his wife, Catherine Annie Wilson, and had four children: Thomas, Mary, Jim and William (Bill).

Group of slightly drunk looking men, three sitting on Tooth & Co., Limited Morpeth Beer Barrels

Group of slightly drunk looking men, three sitting on Tooth & Co., Limited Morpeth Beer Barrels

The wider collection of glass plate negatives – over 500 in total and with many views of Newcastle and its surrounds is an incredible legacy to Thomas Rodoni and his family.

Advertisement in Newcastle Sun 20 May 1919 (Trove)

Advertisement in Newcastle Sun 20 May 1919 (Trove)

Rodoni died in 1956 as a result of a car accident in Waratah, Newcastle.

The original negatives are held in Cultural Collections at the Auchmuty Library, University of Newcastle (Australia).

Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist

Reflections on the Rodoni Archive
by Dr Ann Hardy

The Thomas Rodoni Collection was donated to the University of Newcastle in 2014 and interpreting the 500+ photographs has been interesting and overall a positive process.  We have needed to be resourceful in finding ways to research and deliver this significant collection to the wider community.

In this ANZAC centenary year, the Rodoni collection is celebrated 100 years on, in an exhibition at the University of Newcastle (25 March- 11 April 2015), curated by Gillean Shaw and Naomi Stewart.  The focus has been on the WWI photographs in the collection, however the collection is diverse tracing Thomas Rodoni’s life from Sydney to Lithgow, and then to Newcastle between the decades 1910 to 1930s. There are many photographs of industrial work spaces and machinery, later works show his wife Catherine Annie and their four children, as well as friends and acquaintances.

Researching the Rodoni collection has included collaborating with the wider community, consisting the Rodoni family and friends, volunteers of the university, academic and military historians.  This collaborative approach has been particularly effective because of the limited information that was available about the collection, and the relatively short time to research and make the collection available to the public by April 2015.

This community research project was led by University Archivist Gionni Di Gravio. One of the first priorities was to conserve and safeguard the collection, this was done by Conservator Amir Mogadom who worked on the glass and film negatives to carefully preserve them and make ready to be digitally scanned. Natasha Schroder scanned the entire collection over a 3 month period, and Historian Ann Hardy researched photographs in consultation with family and colleagues. Historian Ken Thornton researched in more detail the history of the WWI New Guinea campaign, providing context to the photographs taken by Rodoni during the lead up to WWI war and his time in New Guinea. A ‘Slide show’ presentation of the collection was shared with family and friends and their responses recorded, similarly historians were also invited to a ‘slide show’ and their feedback regarding the WWI photographs were noted. Because of the high number of industrial related images we may run in the future a ‘slide show’ with industrial heritage groups to help to identify machinery and the location of workshops and factories.

A community approach has enabled research of the collection to occur fairly quickly. There are still many gaps in the ‘history’ of individual images, however the general context of the collection has been established well enough to be able to present the entire collection to the community via Flicker.

Community engagement will be ongoing. The local community approach already started will continue, and now that the collection is on Flicker further information provided by a global community will help to build new knowledge about this significant collection.

Ann Hardy
– 27 March 2015

Three men throwing a bottle in the air. c1910s

Three men throwing a bottle in the air. c1910s

Downloading original sized photos from Flickr

Downloading original sized photos from Flickr

Many people have asked us how to download photos from our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uon

The following instructions for PC were current as of 17 March 2015, but, as Flickr’s interface often changes, the method may change at any time.

1. On the photo page, click the downward pointing arrow in the bottom right corner as shown –
Downloading original sized photos from Flickr

2. Click View all sizes

Downloading original sized photos from Flickr2

3. Click Original

Downloading original sized photos from Flickr3
4. When the original sized image appears, right-click it, and save it to your hard drive or other medium.

A PDF copy of the above instructions is available.

Seminar reminders

A reminder that at 4pm this Thursday, 19 March, the first ‘Religion, Marxism & Secularism’ seminar this semester will that place in Cultural Collections. Alan Cadwallader from the Australian Catholic University will then be speaking about “Peasant plucking in [Gospel of] Mark: implications for ecological perceptions”.

Also in Cultural Collections, the following morning (ie at 10am, Friday 20 March) we have a special History seminar in memory of the late Professor Alan Ward and his work.

 

Sanders Family Bible Donated to Cultural Collections UON

Sanders Family Bible donated to Cultural Collection in the Auchmuty Library UON, l-r Gionni Di Gravio, University Archivist; Lyn Keily, Special Collections Librarian, with great great grand daughters of Nicholas and Isabell Sanders, Joy-Elaine Lewis and Helen Lewis

Sanders Family Bible donated to Cultural Collection in the Auchmuty Library UON, l-r Gionni Di Gravio, University Archivist; Lyn Keily, Special Collections Librarian, with Great great grand daughters of Nicholas and Isabell Sanders, Joy-Elaine Lewis and Helen Lewis

We are delighted to announce that the Sanders Family Bible, and associated memorabilia, was officially donated to the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections in the Auchmuty Library yesterday, 10th March 2015.

The large tome, printed in Glasgow, possibly during the years 1864-1866 and measuring approx 36cm x 26cm x 10cm; containing 950 pages, was previously owned by Nicholas and Isabell (nee Hodgson) Sanders. The initial pages record the births, marriages and deaths of various family members over the years.

The volume, and associated photographs and memorabilia, including a mysterious ‘feather’, according to family folklore, purporting to be from the original bird that graced the illustrated biscuit tins of Arnotts, is also included within the Bible’s pages.

Nicholas Sanders was born in 1842 in Cornwall, England, and married Isabell Hodgson (born in 1844 in Durham) in June 1864 in Isabell’s home town of Durham. They were the first of the Sanders family to migrate to Australia in 1886, and settled in Wallsend, where the family worked in coal mining and farming interests. Isabell died in 1915, and Nicolas in 1921, both buried in the Methodist cemetery in Wallsend.

We thank the great great grand daughter of Nicholas and Isabell, Joy-Elaine Lewis and Helen Lewis for arranging the donation of this precious family treasure to us. They have ensured that all the senior family members have been notified, are are happy with the Bible’s new home within the University’s Cultural Collections.

They have also enthusiastically embarked on extensive family research uncovering many connections across the Hunter Region to the Arnott’s Biscuit Company, Annesley House in Mayfield, and the Dudley Mine Disaster, and thank them for providing this research to us.

Australia’s forgotten ANZACS

Australia's forgotten ANZACs: Lost images from Australia's first

AUSTRALIA’S FORGOTTEN ANZACS

Lost images from Australia’s first conflict – the fall of German New Guinea

C50 EXHIBITION

The University Gallery

25 March – 11 April 2015

Thomas James Rodoni’s glass plate negatives were unearthed from under a house in Speers Point by Rodoni’s son Bill, and given to Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle in 2014 – one hundred years after the start of WW1.

These glass negatives were lost treasures that documented the first military conflict of the First War, the fall of German New Guinea, an engagement that witnessed the first casualties of WW1. This extremely rare collection is by one of the few non-official photographers during the war and this is the first time these images will be on display, commemorating 100 years of ANZAC.

The University Gallery and Cultural Collections acknowledge the support of the late Bill Rodoni and his family and Chris and Frances Fussell in bringing this extraordinary collection to light.

The exhibition is a part of a series of events celebrating the University of Newcastle’s 50th anniversary.

Gallery talk with the University archivist and conservator about Rodoni’s glass plate negatives:
Friday 27 MARCH at 5:15pm

Then join Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Andrew Parfitt at the official launch and cocktail party at the University Gallery: from 6pm