Illustrations of agricultural pest insects, mites and diseases on display in Sydney

EH Zeck's illustration of a codling moth
EH Zeck's illustration of a codling moth

A major exhibition of scientific illustrations of agricultural pest insects, mites and plant diseases is being displayed in Sydney as part of celebrations for National Science Week.

The Natura Morta exhibition features artwork by EH (Emil) Zeck and Margaret Senior, who worked for the former NSW Department of Agriculture and produced artwork from the 1920s to 1960s.

The works are owned by the NSW Agricultural Scientific Collections Trust, which manages Australia’s largest and most comprehensive agricultural insect, mite and plant disease collection.

Dr Murray Fletcher, Research Leader (Scientific Collections), said the exhibition contained 42 illustrations, six of them from a series completed by Zeck for the better farming train which toured NSW in 1928 and 1929.

“His illustrations were designed to show farmers in close-up detail how they could identify agricultural pests.”

Zeck’s work, like that of Senior, was reproduced for many years in the NSW Agricultural Gazette.

Margaret Senior was a noted natural history artist and produced more than 70 superb illustrations of plant diseases.

The exhibition is on display at ‘The Muse’, Building C, TAFE NSW, in Harris Street Ultimo.

It is one of the events in the Ultimo Science Festival, which starts today (August 16).

The works will be on display until August 25.