The Hidden Sex

31 January – 16 March 2019

The Hidden Sex is a solo exhibition by Australian artist Julie Ryder. Julie presents a rich exhibition of textile work that continues her interests in science and history, and that tracks her determination to solve an historical mystery. For the past few years, Ryder, one of Craft ACT’s highly respected Accredited Professional Members, has been researching early Australian botanical collections and her imagination was captured by two albums of pressed seaweed which seemed to have no provenance. Seaweed collecting was a global craze in the 19th century but rarely depicted in botanical illustration. She was lured on a journey of detective work and discovery, visiting herbaria and museums in Australia and Ireland and handling original material. The Hidden Sex is an artistic response to this research, and Julie has used seaweed (cryptogams, literally 'hidden sex') as a metaphor for the hidden roles that women played in 19th-century science as citizen scientists.

Julie will present two floor talks on the exhibition:
Saturday 23 February, 1pm

Friday 8 March (International Women's Day), at 12pm. 


Above: Hortus Conclusus, 2019. Cuttlefish on painted wall. Photograph by 5Foot Photography.
Feature Image: Collecting Ladies 1, 2017. Watercolour, marine macroalgae on pricked paper. Photo: Dorian Photographics.