Ferns were loved for their graceful weeping foliage and their evocation of the beginnings of time and the Garden of Eden. Why do you think a mania for ferns gripped Britain and Australia in the second half of the 19th century?
Describe your eye’s journey across this photograph. Where was your eye first drawn? Explain which elements attracted you and in what order. Make a structural analysis of the image. Focus on scale, perspective, texture, tone and composition.
Compare this scene to Nicholas Caire’s Fairy scene at the Landship, Blacks’ Spur c1878 from the National Gallery of Victoria, which is also in this exhibition. Describe the similarities and differences.
Imagine walking through this forest. Describe what you see, hear, feel and smell. What impact do you think these images had on audiences of the time? How do they make you feel today? Create a body of work that conveys this experience.