The Dietrich Project

This is my story, and the story of Amalie Dietrich. Specifically, it's the story of what I learnt about Amalie Dietrich, and what I did with the things I learnt. Dietrich has been obscure and famous, she has been celebrated and reviled; what I present here, in the form of this virtual diary, is my own attempt to figure out the legacy of Dietrich's work in Australia, by revisiting and retracing key places relating to her story, and acknowledging how my understanding of her life and legacy has grown since the project began in 2015. The exhibition Contested Biography at Artspace Mackay has provided the opportunity for me as an artist to reflect and figure out in 2020 what I think of her life, her work in North Queensland and her legacy.

I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and the waters on which I have conducted this research. I pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

Viewers are advised that the following website contains images and stories of people who have died. The story of Amalie Dietrich's life involves content that may be confronting and disturbing especially to younger audiences. This story and the images that accompany it represent the misuse of Indigenous bodies in colonial Queensland and the South Pacific. These events are presented with respect and acknowledgement of the pain still caused today by the continuing holding of Indigenous ancestral remains in European museum collections.

The Dietrich Project


I would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support:

My partner, Mr Seth Ellis, for his tireless support and technical expertise in the design and build of this website for the digital work

My mother, Mrs Rosalie Vine, for proofreading

Ms Lauren Turton, Curator, and Ms Emily Wakeling, Assistant Curator, and the team at Artspace Mackay for their assistance in the development of this work and the Contested Biography exhibition

Dr Matthias Schultz, Curator, Herbarium Hambergense, Hamburg, Germany

Prof Matthias Glaubrecht, Director, Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak), Hamburg, Germany

Dr Matthias Maüser, Curator, Naturkunde-Museum Bamburg

Assoc Prof Gunnar Mikalsen-Kvifte, Nord University, Bodø, Norway

Adjunct Associate Professor Sebastian Di Mauro (Research project supervisor), QCA, Griffith University

Adjunct Associate Professor Marion Drew (Research project supervisor), QCA, Griffith University

Dr Jeanette Stok, fellow art-science practitioner and dear friend

Associate Professor Rosemary Hawker (Honours project supervisor), QCA, Griffith University

Adjunct Associate Professor Donna Marcus, QCA, Griffith University

Dr Heather Faulkner, Senior Lecturer, QCA, Griffith University

Mr Geoff Thompson, Chief Imaging Officer, Biodiversity Collections, Queensland Museum,

Michael Wardell, Gallery Director, and Sophie Chapman, Exhibition Officer, and the team at Logan Art Gallery

Ms Nicola Holly, Galleries Manager, QCA, Griffith University

Griffith University Honours College and Go Global for their financial support of this project

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