You are in site section: Online features

Jack Brandtman

Jack Brandtman


Artist biography

A colour portrait photograph of a young white man. He is visible from the neck up. Part of his left shoulder is just visible in the bottom right corner of the photo. He has dark hair, dark eyes and a long face with a well-defined chin. He appears to be wearing a white t-shirt, the top of which is just visible in the photo. He smiles in a friendly manner at the camera. Behind him is a plain pale background.

Jack Brandtman was born in 1988 and grew up in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. He is a student at the School of Art at the Australian National University.

Jack's background is in painting and he progressed in 2009 to a major in digital media. He has strong interest in art theory and animation.

Jack is actively involved at the School of Art and hopes to pursue a career in the new media arts field.

Artist statement

This Evolution of Australia Through Maps project follows the discovery and depiction of Australia through time in cartography. The art of map making, cartography, can be seen throughout history as a resource that gives light to the technologies available at the time. I have been drawn to maps because of the fantastic skills applied in constructing them. The evolution of Australia in these maps shows a visual depiction of great changes in the contours and landmass.

The project focuses on the progression of Australia in relation to the world around it. It highlights explorers' journeys of discovery to an unknown land and how their explorations forged a path for future inhabitants. The project depicts progress over time as the journeys of the inhabitants of Australia shape it into the country as we know it today.

Artist work

Title: Evolution of Australia Through Maps

Medium: Video
Date: May 2009

A still image taken from an audiovisual piece depicting an evolving map of Australia. The image shows part of a curved map from possibly the seventeenth century. The map shows part of China, Malaysia and Indonesia. The words 'Ocean Oriental' are overlayed on this part of the map. The words 'Terra Australes' appear where Australia should be on the map. In the bottom right corner of the map appears a fragment of the coastline of New Zealand. To the right of this fragment appear the words 'Nouvelle Zeelande'. Each corner of the image is blurred and indistinct. In the bottom left and right corners of the image are parts of illustrations beyond the border of the map. The blurring makes it difficult to see them clearly. The bottom left illustration appears to be part of a human figure.

Artist inspiration

Embroidered map samplers

These samplers were probably sewn by a young Englishwoman in about 1800. She drew her maps onto the silk from a pattern created to teach ladies geography. The maker has added her own touches, tracing Captain James Cook's three voyages into the Pacific with tiny stitches. The samplers show the new British settlement in Australia at Port Jackson, founded in the wake of Captain James Cook's voyage.

Sitting in an English drawing room, the embroiderer has sewn the coastline of 'New Holland or Terra Australis' from the accounts of Spanish, Dutch, French and British sailors.

Embroidered map samplers that show the world as it was understood by Europeans at the end of the 1700s

Embroidered map samplers, about 1800. Photos: George Serras.