26 Views of the Starburst World: William Dawes at Sydney Cove 1788-91
1 Jan 2012
Ross Gibson continues his speculative brilliance with this work on the astronomer and colonist William Dawes, using his notebooks as source material. It is an intellectual adventure around the tensions and pleasures of language and meaning, particularly Dawes' encounters under the southern stars, sharing ideas with a small group of Indigenous people from around Sydney Harbour. Dawes called his collaborators 'the Eora'. They told him it was their word for 'people', and it might have been the first thing they watched him write down. These were the years when Britain seized the Eora country, leading eventually to the establishment of the modern nation of Australia. Fragmentary, poetic and intriguing, Gibson describes, ponders and interprets the pages of Dawes' notebooks, which are reproduced throughout.