Colonial (Still) Life: Robyn Stacey and Sydney Living Museums’ houses
Jane Raffan chats with curator Dr Scott Hill (Sydney Living Museum’s property portfolio), about the book ‘House’, which was the result of a four-year collaboration between photographer Robyn Stacey and curators that explores Sydney’s colonial life through objects from Sydney Living Museums’ properties Elizabeth Bay House, Vaucluse House, and Rouse Hill House & Farm.
Robyn Stacey’s beautiful Still Life photographs and tableaus presents a new way of looking at and interpreting the houses’ unique collections and, by extension, the social history of 19th century colonial Sydney. You’ll hear about Sydney’s lost gardens and changing rural landscapes as the colony expanded, colonial practices such as the Grand Tour, and other important pursuits, such as ‘the business of eating and drinking’ and the role of women in the scientific arts.
The photographs also give us clues about the families themselves: the Wentworths, the Macleays and the Rouses, all of whom came from vastly different backgrounds and were major contributors to Sydney’s success as a colony.
Interview 1 – The photographs, the process and Elizabeth Bay’s House lost gardens
Interview 2 – Rouse Hill House & Farm, Vaucluse House and gardens, and the Wentworth family
Interview 3 – The Grand Tour, ‘Men’s Business’, and other pursuits
Interview 4 – Leisure pursuits, the genteel woman and women in the scientific arts