Community Collector

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On display at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery, Royal Park 26 May - 26 August 2018

People are curious beings and the world is full of curious things - it's no wonder then, that if something exists there's someone who will collect it. 

The Community Collector series is a small annual exhibition program that will put the spotlight on a person and their collecting passion. 

Whether it's buttons or barbies, wheelbarrows or whisks, records or radios, pineapples or pogo-sticks, magazines or marbles, thimbles or tins, shoes or smurfs, netsukes or neckties, inkwells or insects or model planes, trains and automobiles. 

Hat's off to our community collectors - this exhibition celebrates those people who love collecting things and want to share their love of objects with the rest of us.  

The art collection of Dr Eric Ratcliff is a delightfully eclectic mix of artists, media, time periods and origins. Eric and his late wife Patricia accumulated their collection over a lifetime together, often acquiring works as gifts from friends and family. In the words of Dr Ratcliff himself, "Patricia and I were accumulators rather than collectors, as can be seen from the variety. We made a few fortunate purchases, but were generally broke during our earlier years. We were most fortunate in our friends." 

Dr Ratcliff continues to practice psychiatry in Launceston, but he is also recognised as an accomplished architectural historian, and has published on aspects of nineteenth century art and design in Tasmania and England. Included in this exhibition is a selection of historical architecture drawings by Dr Ratcliff, of which he humbly comments, 'Patricia liked some of my work better than I did, so it helped to fill our many walls, until something better came along'. 

Dr Eric Ratcliff was born in Launceston in 1938 where he grew up and went to school until moving to Queensland where he received a Medical Bachelor and Bachelor of Surgery from University of Queensland in 1964. He qualified as a consultant psychiatrist in 1976 and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1981, and was awarded the College Medal of Honour in 2006. He was honoured with the O.A.M. in 2004 for services to psychiatry and architectural conservation.