OLEGAS Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis's photography awakened the world to the threats facing Tasmania's wilderness, but its beauty had been captured by camera as far back as 1863.
Last night Launceston celebrated the extraordinary work of photographers from Spurling, Beattie and Perrins to the more contemporary exponents such as Jim England, Rob Blakers and Chris Bell at the official opening of Into the Wild .
This is the latest exhibition put together by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, through a shared love for wilderness by history curator Jon Addison and contemporary art curator Damien Quilliam.
In opening the exhibition, former Australian Greens leader and ``passionate friend'' of Tasmania's wilderness Bob Brown said: ``Here we have an exhibition that reminds us in extraordinary detail, in black and white and full colour, of the stunning inherent beauty that makes Tasmania one of the great centres of natural beauty on the planet.''
A special guest last night was Olegas Truchanas's wife, Melva, who with Peter Dombrovskis's wife, Liz, has ``given extraordinary assistance'' to Addison and Quilliam to make the exhibition as informative, personal and wide in scope as possible.
``Our population, our kids all recognise that historically our wilderness is so outstandingly different in Tasmania - these photographs, this exhibition, is proof of that,'' Mrs Truchanas said. The exhibition comprises many elements never before put on public display, among them a camera and Paddy Pallin ``golden tan'' japara tent from 1960 used by Olegas Truchanas as well as his Lake Pedder slide presentation from the 1970s. Dominating the floorspace is an oversize lightbox illuminating Drombrovskis's ``almost racy'' Rock Lichen, Lake Rodway wilderness photo, while his Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend , depicting the Franklin River, dominates one wall.
Arguably the most politically charged wilderness photograph in Australia's history Rock Island Bend was first published before the 1983 federal elections with the slogan ``Could you vote for a party that would destroy this?''
WHAT: Into the Wild, featured as part of Ten Days on the Island.
WHERE: QVMAG Royal Park, 2 Wellington Street, Launceston.
WHEN: Daily, 10am to 4pm.