Robyn Stacey

1952, Australia

Stacey studied Fine Arts at the Queensland University, Australia. One of the first Australian photographers to use digital technology to alter her images, she is known by her pictures of still lifes which she finds fascinating because "there is always a feeling of human presence, even though there is no one in the photo." She teaches at the University of Western Sydney.


"Beau Monde literally means beautiful world, but it also refers to an elite social milieu. All the works in the exhibition are based on nineteenth-century natural history specimens collected by three generations of one family – the Macleay family. Alexander Macleay arrived in Sydney in 1826 as Colonial Secretary, bringing with him his family and the most significant private natural history collection in Europe at that time. The Macleay family were members of the Royal Society, friends of Darwin, and they had the time, money and inclination to amass a vast collection of exotic Australian and other specimens, as well as to establish the Australian Museum, the Linnean Society in Sydney, to fund the first scientific exhibition to New Guinea, and build their own museum at Sydney University. In representing the Macleay family collection, I wanted to invoke the world of the gentleman collector and the Victorian gothic aesthetic of the period for a contemporary audience." ROBYN STACEY

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