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Arts stories

The following stories relate to The Arts in Tasmania:

Sharpen to take TSO helm

An accomplished arts leader with strong Tasmanian connections will take the reins at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO). Caroline Sharpen will step in as the new CEO, succeeding Nicholas Heyward who steps down in December after a 17-year tenure. Sharpen, whose Tasmanian family connections date back to 1804, comes with an impressive resume in arts management. A graduate of the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music, Sharpen was the first Australian awarded a prestigious Kennedy Centre Fellowship in Arts Management – a scholarship for aspiring arts leaders in Washington D.C. Her subsequent career included senior positions with Musica Viva Australia and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. TSO Board Chair, Dr David Rich, said: “I am confident that working with our newly-appointed Chief Conductor, Eivind Aadland, and building on the strong foundations built by Nicholas Heyward and his colleagues, Caroline will lead the TSO into a new era of exciting innovations and extraordinary artistic achievements.” Sharpen takes up her new five-year post in January.

14 October 2018, Edition 199

Wild west turns to art

Tasmania’s West Coast is about to come alive with unconventional art, music and dance. The Unconformity – a three-day biennial contemporary arts festival – is about to kick off in Queenstown. It is a celebration of the West Coast’s rugged and rich mining history, as well as Queenstown’s unique character. Even the name reflects this heritage, with an unconformity being an area of rock that shows a geological break in time. Giant speakers in the centre of town will create a wall of noise and vibration to depict geological events that shaped the region – volcanoes, earthquakes and meteorite strikes. Artistic Director, Travis Tiddy, told The Advocate: “It kicks the festival off with a geological roar. People all throughout the Queenstown valley will hear it.” This year’s offerings also include performances by international, interstate and local artists; Tasmanian ghost stories; art exhibitions; and even a ‘Queenie Muster’ for car buffs. Since the inaugural festival in 2010, The Unconformity has established itself as a significant cultural event in regional Tasmania. Unconformity 2018 will run from October 19-21.

14 October 2018, Edition 199

Spawning success for spotted handfish

An innovative breeding program hoping to save the critically endangered spotted handfish is proving a success. Last month, we brought you the story of ceramist Jane Bamford, who made thousands of artificial spawning habitats for the rare fish which is found only in Hobart’s River Derwent. These long porcelain spindles – which replicate the stalked ascidians that are their natural breeding habitats and have largely vanished – were embedded on the river floor by divers over the past few months. It was hoped that the fish would lay their eggs around them. With the spawning season now underway, the first results are in, and CSIRO scientists are reporting that handfish have laid hundreds of eggs around the ceramic artificial spawning habitats. This much-loved fish is one of Tasmania’s most unique creatures, and while it is still early days, for those involved this is definitely cause for celebration.

14 October 2018, Edition 199

Bach in barns

Edition 199_Clarendon

It’s an intoxicating mix. Classical music, heritage buildings, food, wine and craft gin, and all set amongst Tasmania’s bucolic rolling hills.

14 October 2018, Edition 199

Ten Days on our Island

The new artistic director of Ten Days on the Island, Lindy Hume, believes in the power of art to unite communities. She told The Mercury: “A festival is a welcoming, tolerant, inviting and exciting place.” Described as ‘the festival that began it all’, Ten Days on the Island promotes itself as Australia’s only state-wide, international multi-arts festival. It is focused on bringing art into regional Tasmania and will actually be split into three long weekends to be held in Launceston, the north-west and Hobart. This is a biennial event, with the next festival slated for March, next year. Offerings will include a variety of events from opera in the vineyard, to turning Hobart’s City Hall into a citizens’ theatre. The multi-arts biennial event will celebrate its 10th festival in 2021.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

Accolades for Tassie composers

Two Tasmanian composers have received national recognition for their work in composition. Adjunct Professor, Mary Finsterer, and Dr Maria Grenfell – both from the University of Tasmania’s College of Arts, Law and Education (CALE) – were recipients of Australia’s prestigious 2018 Art Music Awards. Professor Finsterer’s opera Biographica was named Vocal/Choral work of the year. It sold out during its premier season at the 2017 Sydney Festival, and according to its composer, “was inspired by the life and writings of Italian inventor, philosopher and gambler, Gerolamo Cardano". Dr Grenfell won the Tasmanian award for Orchestral Work of the Year, for her composition Spirals which is a one-movement double concerto for clarinet, bassoon and chamber orchestra. Dr Grenfell said: “There are so many exciting things happening in the creative arts in Tasmania.”

12 September 2018, Edition 198

Glover Prize gears up

Entries are now open for one of Australia’s most prestigious landscape art awards – the 2019 Glover Prize. A prize-purse of $50,000 is on offer for the winner of this annual award which celebrates Tasmanian landscape paintings. The high-profile award is named after famed Tasmanian colonial artist, John Glover. The 2018 Glover Prize – won by Halinka Orszulok with a painting of Launceston’s Cataract Gorge at night – attracted a record number of entries. Hopes are high, even more artists will put their hand up for the 2019 event. Entries for the 16th Glover Prize close on January 25, 2019, with the winner to be announced on March 8. The Glover Prize is also a major cultural tourist drawcard for the northern village of Evandale, where it is held every year.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

Mining Queenstown’s art

Long known for its mining heritage, Queenstown is also increasingly known for its unconventional art. Unique and off-beat culture is celebrated at The Unconformity which is expected to draw crowds to the West Coast mining town next month. According to organisers, this biennial contemporary arts festival “explores the paradoxes of Queenstown, a small mining community on Tasmania’s wild and mountainous West Coast… experience our community’s unmatched sense of place". It will feature dance, a photographic exhibition, and a special artists’ trail, highlighting the works of more than 20 local artists. A Memory Map will also encourage people to post their personal experiences about living in this unique community. The Unconformity evolved from the Queenstown Heritage Arts Festival which was first held in 2010, and re-branded in 2015. This year’s three-day The Unconformity arts festival will take place from October 14 to 16.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

Symphony summer school

Expect the sounds of sweet music over the coming summer months, with a special summer school for aspiring Tasmanian conductors. For the second year, the Australian Conducting Academy, in conjunction with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO), will be giving the next generation of conductors the opportunity to hone their talents with a professional orchestra. The course is being led by TSO principal guest conductor, Johannes Fritzsch. TSO Managing Director, Nicholas Heyward told The Mercury: “For the second year running we are delighted to offer a talented group of aspiring conductors a unique opportunity to work with a professional orchestra which is very involved and supportive of the process, and hone their skills with Johannes, a master educator and mentor.” The symphony summer school will be held in Hobart from late January next year.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

Art lends a helping hand

Edition 198_JaneBamford

Art is the latest weapon in the fight to save one of Tasmania’s most unique creatures – the critically endangered spotted handfish.

12 September 2018, Edition 198

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Latest news

Tassie Kangaroos bounce into history

Edition 201_TasKanga

No Christmas rest for the stars of Tasmania’s first AFL team – The North Melbourne Tassie Kangaroos – with training in full swing as they get ready to create history in the New Year.

11 December 2018, Edition 201

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