Artist captures work of botanist

COMMON BOND: Illustrator and botanist Janet Hauser with her tribute to William Carron, one of three survivors of the 1849 Kennedy Expedition.
COMMON BOND: Illustrator and botanist Janet Hauser with her tribute to William Carron, one of three survivors of the 1849 Kennedy Expedition.

IN 1849, only three people survived the Kennedy Exploration of the country lying between Rockingham Bay and Cape York in Queensland.

One was botanist William Carron, and Iluka botanist and illustrator Janet Hauser has retraced his footsteps to produce works for her exhibition, An Exhibition of Botanical Art, at Yamba Museum.

"William Carron, an Aboriginal tracker and a former convict were the only three survivors of this expedition and when they were transported back to Sydney they left behind all Carron's collected specimens from the trip," Mrs Hauser said.

"I can only imagine Carron would have been devastated.

"However he kept a diary and included intricate drawings of specimens and it was this diary that led to me to retrace his footsteps and discover those same specimens as he did.

"I have now redrawn them in their full colour and it gives me goosebumps to know I have walked many miles in his shoes because it is obvious we are both passionate about nature."

In 1872 Carron presented reports on 20 forest reserves in northern New South Wales as parliamentary papers.

He condemned the practice of wastefully ring-barking trees for building purposes and warned that the supply of red cedar would soon be exhausted if current cutting procedures were continued.

At the end of 1875 Carron resigned from the Botanic Gardens to become inspector of forests and forestry ranger in the Clarence district.

He went to Grafton early in February 1876 but, while he was arranging for his family to join him, his health failed rapidly.

Descendants of the three survivors will be present for the exhibition opening at 2.30pm today.

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