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How artists use QMN

How artists use our research collection, Queensland Museum Network, June 2021

Queensland Museum Network’s mammal and bird collections are like a library of animals. Unlike a regular library of books where you go to read to take away information gathered from authors, visiting scientists and artists study the animals, generating information to fill in the gaps in our understanding of the unique fauna of Queensland.

Artists use the research collection in a number of ways:

  • to produce artwork with highly accurate detail for use in field guides, scientific works
  • as a reference tool for their artwork such as sculptures, paintings, ceramics etc
  • simply for inspiration such as the colour combinations and patterns from a delicate bird wing to use on fabric for a scarf.

There is often a failure of scientists to get their valuable conservation message across to those that matter…. you. This is where artists can bridge the gap, taking both the animals and their story to combine it into a stunning visual artwork making it more palatable but still have punch. To not just provide an enjoyable experience for the viewer but to draw out empathy with that engagement. Hopefully, this may lead to compassion and compel you to act and make decisions that will allow us to live alongside our native fauna rather than push it aside.

Some of the artists who have recently used the Queensland Museum Network mammal and bird collection for inspiration include Garry Rogers, Michael Cook, Emma Lindsay, and Deb Mostert. Take a look at some of their incredible work!

Garry Rogers looked at the riflebirds and eastern curlew for inspiration for this image “The Goodbye Look” – Eastern Curlew. To check out some more of Garry’s work visit his Facebook page.

When Michael Cook visited the collection, he photographed many display mounts for inserting into his images. These are featured in his recent exhibition Natures mortes at Andrew Baker gallery.


Emma Lindsay is pictured here with a Pronghorn painting and has used many birds in the Queensland Museum Network collection for reference, she has a particular interest in the Night Parrot. To view more of Emma’s work visit


Deb Mostert is pictured with her painting “Shark as Object”. She has also been part of the World Science Festival Brisbane held at Queensland Museum.