Millions of years old Tasmanian Spider: Exhibition at Museum of Geraldton will explore our deepest caves

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Up close and personal with the Sixteen Legs exhibition at Museum of Geraldton.
Camera IconUp close and personal with the Sixteen Legs exhibition at Museum of Geraldton. Credit: Sixteen Legs Bookend Trust: Joe Shemesh

Did you know there’s a Tasmanian spider that is 200 million years old, and still lives inside Australia’s deepest caves?

A new exhibition coming to the Museum of Geraldton will explore this recent discovery through a mix of art and science, highlighting the environmental and cultural significance of Australia’s deepest caves.

Hiding inside them is the Tasmanian Cave Spider, and the travelling exhibition Sixteen Legs will unravel the beauties — or beasts — inside those caves from Saturday, June 11.

Museum of Geraldton regional manager Leigh O’Brien said the museum was excited to bring the intriguing exhibition to Geraldton, where visitors can explore a hidden underground environment and the creatures that dwell there.

The multi-media exhibit features photography, dark-fantasy digital artworks, large scale resin and fiberglass sculptures, and community art, all overseen by two giant prehistoric spider replicas with 5.5m leg spans and a giant spider egg sac.

Bookend Trust director Dr Niall Doran said the exhibition was created to tell a previously unknown story of incredible survival in a real life setting.

“It was also important to tell it in an innovative and fresh way, to draw in viewers beyond those that are typically already fans of natural history,” Dr Doran said.

“At a time when science, education and the environment are often caught in the political cross-hairs, we feel it is significant to bring to the world a tale that celebrates the fun and wonder of the world that preceded us and may still outlast us.”

Sixteen Legs is a free exhibition and will be on display at the Museum of Geraldton from Saturday, June 11 to Sunday, August 14. It is produced by the Bookend Trust’s Out of the Wilderness project with assistance from the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.

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