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Arts stories

The following stories relate to The Arts in Tasmania:

Dark MOFO goes bigger

Dark Mofo has been forced to upsize some of its events in the wake of unprecedented demand. The hugely popular mid-winter festival continues to go from strength-to-strength, with tickets to the June event snapped up at record rates. Tickets worth $1.5 million were sold immediately on release – an increase of 50% over the same period last year. This also resulted in a number of shows being quickly sold-out and leaving a growing number of people on waiting lists. However, organisers responded quickly with Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael telling The Mercury: “We’re currently working pretty madly to try and move some gigs into bigger venues.” Organisers have already announced that sold-out shows, Laterne by Berlin Atonal, and the experimental music event Borderlands will be moving to larger premises. Initial ticket sales also indicate there is more interest this year from outside of Tasmania, with 65% of tickets sold to date going to people who live interstate or overseas. Dark Mofo 2018 runs from June 13 – 24 and will feature regular highlights including the annual Winter Feast and Nude Solstice Swim.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Art from trash

A unique Tasmanian art show – which is very much part of Hobart’s cultural landscape – is proving that trash really can be treasure. Art from Trash is an annual exhibition that encourages the reusing of discarded materials into amazing visual art. Artists take items from the scrap-heap and recycle them into a seemingly endless array of creative pieces, which in the past has included a replica motorbike made from bits and pieces found around the house – cereal boxes, bottles, curtain rod, even an old iron. The first exhibition was staged in 1993 and each year now attracts more than 100 contributing artists and thousands of visitors. The artists themselves range from professionals to school children. However, as well as creating thought-provoking art, this exhibition is also about provoking thoughts: educating people on the potential value of things that we throw away. Art from Trash is organised by The Resource Work Co-operative, a not-for-profit organisation which also runs the McRobies Gully Tip Shop. The 2018 exhibition runs from May 26 to June 4 at the Long Gallery in Hobart’s historic Salamanca Place.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Funding for film-makers

A leg-up for Tasmania’s film-makers and digital producers has come with new State Government grants to help fund their projects. Among the recipients are north-west based duo, Michael O’Neill and Dylan Hesp, who will use $10,000 in funding to produce a six-part miniseries shining a light on drug-related crimes in their region. Shards is a drama series about a north-west town terrorised by an outlaw bikie gang. Other projects to receive funding include $24,000 to help produce Lucy’s Cannon, an animated children’s comedy series about two young siblings who become embroiled in all sorts of adventures. Myriad Games Studio will receive $10,000 for its interactive game Where the Snow Settles about Aurelia who is aided by mysterious spirits as she searches for her lost sister. Arts Minister Elise Archer said the grants – which total $68,000 – will support local film-makers and digital producers and show the Government is “a strong supporter of our cultural and creative industries and is committed to the continued growth of our digital content sector.” She added this is great news that confirms Tasmania’s growing reputation as a cultural and creative industry leader.

3 May 2018, Edition 194

Singing up a winter storm

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Tasmanians are dusting off their puffer jackets and getting ready to sing up a storm with preparations in full swing for this year’s Festival of Voices.

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Art draws crowds at Mural Fest

All eyes were on Sheffield – in the north-west – with thousands of tourists drawn to the small town for its annual Mural Fest which kicked off on Easter Sunday. Mural Fest is a unique art competition where finalists compete in a public ‘paint-off’ creating stunning large murals around a poem. This year the theme was ‘Our Wonderful World.’ The nine finalists included artists from the United States and France as well as interstate and Tasmania. Crowds watched as they created their masterpieces over the course of a week. Mural Fest is proving so popular that similar events are now being held around the world. Meanwhile Sheffield also hosted the Taste of the North-West, which was held to coincide with Mural Fest. It was organised by local producers keen to showcase the region’s finest foods and beverages and has just celebrated its 10th birthday. The event has come a long way from its humble beginnings as an idea dreamt up by local viticulturist, Phil Dolan, of White Rock Vineyard who told The Advocate: “What you see today is a full complement of the best this region has to offer and that’s significant. Plus, nothing beats the backdrop of Mount Roland.”

11 April 2018, Edition 193

Dark Mofo embraces danger

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Dark Mofo is sticking its neck out again in 2018, embracing the talkfest Dark and Dangerous Thoughts that was thrown out of Sydney four years ago.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Heyward to depart TSO

Nicholas Heyward, the long-serving Managing Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will step down at the end of 2018. TSO Chairman, Dr David Rich, said: "During his tenure ... Nicholas has realised a vision for the TSO which has positioned the orchestra as central to the cultural life of Tasmania. Under the direction of both Nicholas's management and the artistic leadership of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Marko Letonja, the TSO has been defined by a commitment to excellence reflected in the current quality of the orchestra, its very strong reputation nationally and internationally and its ability to attract the highest calibre of international soloists and visiting conductors. Nicholas has reinforced the TSO as a vital and innovative artistic institution, and one which continues to play a key role in the current buoyant cultural climate of Tasmania." Originally from Tasmania, Mr Heyward, was appointed Managing Director of the TSO in 2001, having held executive roles with key Australian artistic institutions including Victoria State Opera, Musica Viva Australia, Brisbane Biennial International Music Festival and the Adelaide Festival of the Arts. During a period in Britain he had worked in executive roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Mr Heyward led the TSO into many important collaborations, including creative interaction with MONA and its artistic festivals. Dr Rich said the TSO Board would undertake an international process to recruit an outstanding appointee to sustain and build on Mr Heyward’s many contributions.

8 March 2018, Edition 192

Weather can't dampen parties

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Tasmania's annual party season witnessed some weird weather to complement its on-stage oddities.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

Walsh plays Willie Wonka

MONA owner David Walsh has delivered blocks of chocolate to the letter boxes of 1,200 of his Berridale neighbours, imitating Willy Wonka in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And like the fictional oddball confectioner, Walsh had golden tickets delivered along with a small number of the sweet treats. Instead of a trip to a chocolate factory, Walsh’s golden tickets took their lucky recipients to the gala opening of MONA’s $30 million gallery extension, the Pharos Wing. Similar tickets had been selling for $500 a head. Each chocolate bar was inscribed with a thank you to local residents for their patience during construction of the new wing and “for putting up with [MONA’s] shenanigans generally.” The new exhibition space can accommodate 80 patrons at a time and will house work by some of Mr Walsh's favourite artists, James Turrell, Jean Tinguely, Randy Polumbo, Charles Ross and Richard Wilson. MONA will require all patrons entering the wing to sign a medical waiver before viewing some of the works.

8 February 2018, Edition 191

A ballet evening called 'Murphy'

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The Australian Ballet is to present evening-long tributes to renowned Tasmanian dancer and choreographer Graeme Murphy, AO, in Melbourne and Sydney in the New Year.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 194

Edition 194_GraingerFuchsTT

The May edition of Tasmania’s Stories begins with the news that a landmark $700 million contract has been inked for two new Bass Strait Ferries. Please enjoy your May newsletter.

11 May 2018, Edition 194

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