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Botanical history brought to life

THE Narryna Heritage Museum in Hobart is recapturing a botanical piece of local history with an art exhibition of ‘Knopwood’s Kitchen Garden 1804-1824’.

Led by a group of artists known as “Botaniko” that studied under well-known Australian botanical artist Lauren Black, the exhibition is a recreation of the first bountiful garden in Battery Point.

Originally planted by Reverend Robert Knopwood, the recreated garden includes the growth of plants recorded in Knopwood’s Diary, as well as early 19th century nursing catalogues.

Narryna Council member and curator of the exhibition Ann Cripps said the plan to re-establish the Kitchen Garden at Narryna was recognition of an important part of Tasmania’s history.

“There is little recognition in the Battery Point/Sullivan’s Cove area of the historic importance of Reverend Robert Knopwood, the first chaplain of Van Diemen’s Land,” she said.

“However, his diary records the development of his garden at Cottage Green, part of which is the present Narryna site.

“The recommendation to re-establish the Kitchen Garden was a result of my research into the history of the Narryna site, as part of the ‘Narryna Landscape Master Plan’.”

Rev. Knopwood was a chaplain of Lieutenant-Governor David Collins’ expedition and settlement at Sullivan’s Cove in 1804.

Soon after his arrival he established a home and productive garden on the slopes above today’s Salamanca Place, which provided visitors a respite from the alien landscape.

“When established, the Kitchen Garden will be a valuable community and educational resource focusing on the development of early colonial productive gardens,” Ms Cripps said.

“The exhibition will showcase botanical paintings featuring some of the early plants that were grown in Knopwood’s Kitchen Garden, as well as some interesting portraits of Knopwood, some early garden books and a display of early garden tools.

“There has been a lot of interest in the exhibition, as well as in the beautiful cards that are on sale, which feature a small selection of artwork.”

Knopwood’s Kitchen Garden 1804-1824 will run until Sunday 15 May.

Admission to Narryna, including the exhibition, is $10 for adults and $8 for concession.

Special groups/tours are also available, including morning/afternoon tea and an introduction to botanical art, costing $15 per person with a minimum of six and maximum of 20 participants per session.

Narryna Heritage Museum is located at 103 Hampden Road, Battery Point.

For more information, phone 6234 2791.

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