My love affair with museums began when I was seven. I saw a bunyip's head in a glass case, a strange, unsettling creature with a one-eyed blind stare, a cycloptic monster. I was small and I stood up on my toes to see the creature through the glass. On show, the bunyip was mounted in a tall, ornate nineteenth-century wooden cabinet. The typed paper label gave scientific verification: ‘A bunyip’s head, New South Wales. 1841.’ I recall the palpable shock of it, and my mixed childhood emotions: bunyips were real. With its long jawbone wrapped in fawn-coloured fur, it was a decapitated Australian swampdweller preserved. Yet, the horrific creature looked so sad, and with its sightless eye, gaping mouth and cartoonish backward drooping ears. It was a creature of pathos — a gormless, goofy redhead, a ranga, a total outsider.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Australian Humanities Review|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2018|
- Australian Anthropocene
Edmonds, P. (2018). The bunyip as uncanny rupture: Fabulous animals, innocuous quadrupeds and the Australian anthropocene. Australian Humanities Review, 63, 80-98. http://australianhumanitiesreview.org/2018/12/02/the-bunyip-as-uncanny-rupture-fabulous-animals-innocuous-quadrupeds-and-the-australian-anthropocene/