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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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The record keepers, from Duyfken: The Aboriginal Print Portfolio



Karen Casey


1956 -


This limited edition print portfolio was produced in July 2006 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch-Australian relations. Sponsored by Rabobank, the portfolio was produced by the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The title of the portfolio is drawn from the name of the first Dutch ship to land on Australian shores, the Duyfken or Little Dove. A vessel of the Dutch East India Company, the Duyfken landed on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in March 1606 and Captain William Janszoon and his men went ashore. The portfolio is based on the notion of 'first encounters' to highlight this little known fact.

The Duyfken portfolio brings together 10 Indigenous artists from across the country with diverse art practices, resulting in an important collection of works that explore the notion of 'first encounters' in a number of ways and shed light on the exchanges that took place with a number of countries prior to colonisation.

The documentation for this print states:

"From the ancient practice of hand-stenciling to the elaborate science of cartography, human beings possess an innate desire to record and chart their arrivals and journeys through life. Drawing from Abel Tasman's 1642 expedition journal and on the cave art signatures of my Tasmanian forebears, this work responds to both the spirit of exploration and discovery, and to the enduring sense of connection one has with one's country and place of origin. Like the contours of the explorers' maps, the tracings and imprints of clasped hands reveal the passage of time, metaphorically uniting peoples of different cultures through the myriad of life's experience, each existing within a particular geographic location and each with a story to tell".


Place where the work was made

Melbourne Victoria Australia



Media categories

Print , Print

Materials used

photo-lithograph, black ink on Velin Arches 200gsm white wove paper




40.0 x 45.0 cm image; 56.0 x 76.0 cm sheet


Gift of Rabobank Australia Ltd 2007


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Karen Casey

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Referenced in 2 publications


Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duyfken, Netherlands, 2006. Commemorative brochure, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Anne Virgo (Editor), Australian Print Workshop bulletin, 'Duyfken Folio', pg. 4, Fitzroy, 2007.