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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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i, from Duyfken: The Aboriginal Print Portfolio



Allan Mansell


1957 -


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:

"The leaves represent Tasmania where there are more varieties of gum trees than anywhere else in Australia. Within each leaf is the gum tree itself, as in the veins of the eyelid. The circles represent harmony. The inner circle symbolises contact between the Dutch and Tasmanian Aboriginal people. As they did not meet physically, contact was through sight: the upper eye sees Dutch ships; the lower eye sees the Tasman Bridge (in Hobart) as a symbol of the bridge between the Dutch and Aboriginal people. The colour within the leaves is that of the earth. The blue in the eyes refers to Europeans and blue is symbolic of the upper classes in history as blue was a precious pigment".


Place where the work was made

Bruny Island Tasmania Australia



Media category


Materials used

hard-ground etching, red, blue and black ink on Velin Arches 200gsm white wove paper




60.0 x 45.0 cm platemark; 76.0 x 56.0 cm sheet


Gift of Rabobank Australia Ltd 2007


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Allan Mansell

Works in the collection


Referenced in 2 publications


Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duyfken, Netherlands, 2006, (colour illus.). Commemorative brochure, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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