Imaging the Thylacine from Trap to Laboratory

For two hundred years visual images of the extinct thylacine, or Tasmanian ‘tiger’, have played an important role in influencing attitudes and actions toward the species and suggesting how this animal is perceived.

This exhibition focuses on images in zoological works, commercial and official sites, and in the scientific and popular imagination. It explains how pictures are produced and how processes of production can determine the form and effect of a representation.

It reveals that the figure of an animal can be used for many different functions, that the idea of a ‘thylacine’ has been repeatedly transformed, and that even the shape of the species has varied. Pictures had a crucial role in the extermination of the species.

Today the thylacine is an icon for the State of Tasmania, as well as an emblem of extinction. A logo or advertisement containing the figure carries powerful and persuasive commercial and political messages.

Meanwhile, technoscience attempts to create the ultimate representation – a virtual walking, stalking, thylacine ..…

Curator: Carol Freeman
Graphic Design: Gill Ward


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Last updated

24 September, 2007