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Arts stories

The following stories relate to The Arts in Tasmania:

Weather can't dampen parties

Edition 191_Ritchie

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'

Edition 190_Murphy

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

Davies wins Geach award

Tasmanian painter Amanda Davies has won Australia's most prestigious award for female portraitists with an impression of fellow artist Pat Brassington. Davies and Brassington both exhibit at North Hobart's Bett Gallery and Brassington posed for her colleague in an inside-out wedding dress. Davies explained that wedding dresses had been a recurring theme in Brassington's work for several decades. “I had a wedding dress in the studio that I had bought a few years ago from an op shop, and asked her to wear it inside-out for me,” Davies told The Advocate. “The wedding dress is ... a reference to surrealism and feminism, so it was a symbolic encounter.” The $30,000 Portia Geach Memorial Award, which dates back to 1965, is recognised as an important celebration of the talents and creativity of Australian female portrait painters. It has played a major role in lifting the profiles of many artists. "The Geach" is awarded each year to "the best portrait painted from life of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, or the Sciences by any female artist resident in Australia during the 12 months preceding the close date for entries."

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Shell documentary goes global

A Tasmanian-made documentary about the ancient art of Aboriginal shell stringing, kanalaritja: An Unbroken String, has been selected to play at four film festivals around the world. Co-funded by Screen Tasmania and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG), and based on an award-winning TMAG exhibition of the same name, the Roar Film documentary has received invitations to the Red Nation Film Festival and the Tribal Film Festival in the United States, to the Barcelona Planet Film Festival in Spain and the Eurasia Film Festival in Russia. The TMAG exhibition on which the film was based won the Australian and New Zealand Museum and Galleries Award for Best Indigenous Project.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Irish exiles cast in bronze

Four bronze sculptures of transported Irish convict women and their children were installed on Hobart’s waterfront in October. Created by noted Irish sculptor, Rowan Gillespie, they were officially unveiled by the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, during a ceremony near the MACq01 hotel on Macquarie Wharf. Mr Gillespie had used the living descendants of women and children transported to the Van Diemen’s Land penal colony in the early 1800s as models for the installation, titled Footsteps Towards Freedom. He worked in isolation in his Dublin foundry for many weeks using photographs and 3-D scans to help craft the likenesses. “It kind of seemed a bit wrong to sculpt just any old face on to these girls,” he said. From 1803 to 1853, almost 13,000 convict women and 2,000 children were disembarked on Hobart’s waterfront and housed initially at South Hobart’s Female factory. Mr Higgins told a crowd of about 1,000 that the women deserved admiration. “The crimes for which they were transported were often petty crimes, it would seem now — the theft of food or a few coins, a watch or shawl stolen to try to sustain a starving family — desperate acts of destitute individuals.”

6 November 2017, Edition 189

Mofo adventure in two-cities

Edition 189_Gotye

World premieres, Australian exclusives and challenging performances and installations will drive the Mona Foma (Mofo) festival in 2018.

5 November 2017, Edition 189

Film making draws a talent home

Edition 188_Grieve

Tasmanian-born author Bradley Trevor Greive, whose varied adventures include selling 30 million books, is back home and looking to keep up the pace of local film-making.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

The legend of Jimmy Possum

Edition 188_Epworth

The legend of a reclusive bush carpenter named Jimmy Possum persists in craft-minded Deloraine – and his chairs are treated with respect by knowledgeable collectors far beyond the town.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Sydney honour for Mona Foma

MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) was recognised for its Mona Foma summer festival at the 2017 Art Music Awards in Sydney in September. Hobart’s so-called un-museum was awarded the Tasmanian State Award for Excellence by an Organisation. Festival Curator Brian Ritchie said: “Art/music has always been at the core of the Mofo experience. We strive to include musicians and artists who are pushing forward into new territory and finding their unique expression outside of the commercial framework. This award honours these creative people and the Mofo audience who encourage them along their path.” MONA recently won the Best Contemporary Music Festival section of the 2017 Helpmann Awards for its Dark Mofo winter festival. Mofo will be held in Hobart for the last time in 2018 before moving to Launceston, while the MONA team presses on with the planned HoMo hotel project at its Berriedale site. A pop-up Mofo event is set be held in Launceston this summer.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 195

Edition 195_Attenborough

Leading the June edition of Tasmania’s Stories Sir David Attenborough showcases Tasmania to the world in a stunning new documentary. Please enjoy your June newsletter.

15 June 2018, Edition 195

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