On the Tassie tiger hunt

The Canberra Times, Thursday February 8, 2007
Today with Megan Doherty

CANBERRA artist Stephen Harrison and poet John Bryan are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they go hunting for the Tasmanian tiger. Bryan refuses to believe the fabled animal is extinct and is spending six weeks tiger ­hunting in Tasmania, the first half with his dad Max, the second half with Harrison. “It's always been one of my favourite animals and a couple of years ago I thought I should do something I really believe in,” Bryan said. “It's just the idea this creature may still be out there. It's almost a haunting question.” It's all very fortuitous because Harrison's latest exhibition, opening on Saturday, is called Blue thylacine, other drawings and the decayed city sculptures. One of the drawings in the exhibition is of a blue thylacine and Harrison also has a blue Tasmanian tiger tattooed on his right arm. He likes the offbeatness and arresting image of a blue Tiger. “I suppose that's the tack I take in all my artwork—why not do the most

POWERFUL AND ARRESTING: Stephen Harrison's blue thylacine ink and watercolour on paper, 2006

powerful images possible?” he said. While he's less inclined to believe the tiger is alive, Harrison is looking forward to the adventure. “I'll be taking a movie camera down there to document the whole trip, just to make a little short film or something out of it,” he said. Harrison's exhibition will be on at the Print Studio + Gallery in the Canberra Technology Park, Philip Avenue, Watson.