Australia's First Icons Are Making Their Way To Griffith City Library For This Month!

The first drawings of Blinky Bill!

Australia's First Icons Are Making Their Way To Griffith City Library For This Month!

From July 6 to July 20 at Griffith City Library, you can explore how the koala and waratah were first depicted over 200 years ago and how they've evolved over time to become the national icons we know today. 

The new travelling display will show these celebrated Australian icons and how they evolved into Dorothy Wall's Blinky Bill to how the waratah became NSW's state flower.

Australian Inspiration curator, Sarah Morley, says the koala was so unique that early colonists found it hard to draw.

“In 1803, Australian artist John William Lewin (1770-1819) was the first person to draw a koala, from a specimen that was brought from Mount Kembla to Sydney,” Ms Morley said.

“The koala evolved over time to become a national icon. Dorothy Wall brought the koala to life in 1933 with her cheeky little character called Blinky Bill, and by the 1960s it was used by Qantas to promote Australian tourism.”

Whereas the earliest known drawing of the waratah dates back to 1794 and to this day, continues to be a source of inspiration for fashion designers, artists and creatives. 

 

“Australian Inspiration will not only tell the evolving story of our national icons, but also showcase the role of the State Library’s extraordinary collections in arts and design,” said Ms Morley.

 

 

 

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