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Arts stories

The following stories relate to The Arts in Tasmania:

Ballet goes wild

It was a case of two worlds – happily – colliding when the ballet hit Tasmania’s wild west. The rugged mining town of Zeehan has hosted a performance of Madame Butterfly by the Melbourne City Ballet. And it was a sell-out success, with more than 100 people gathering at Zeehan’s historic Gaiety Theatre to take in the show. West Coast Council Mayor, Phil Vickers, who took tickets at the door, told ABC News: “I think a show like this is something that we’re only going to get once a year. It saves people travelling away for it and it’s a bit of a cultural experience.” The historic Gaiety Theatre is open every day for visitors to the ‘Silver City’, and this is the second time that the Melbourne City Ballet has come to town. As ballerina, Alexia Cannizzaro, who performs the lead role of Cio-Cio-San told ABC News: “It really expands our audience base and everyone gets the opportunity to see performances like this, where they normally wouldn’t have the chance [for such an] experience.”

13 August 2018, Edition 197

Tassie architects scoop INDE awards

Tasmanian architects Taylor and Hinds snared the greatest accolade at the 2018 INDE Awards in Singapore. They won the ‘Best of the Best’ award for their ‘standing camp’ at wukalina (Mount William National Park) in the north-east. Their ‘krakani-lumi’ – which means resting place – was developed in conjunction with the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania. Sitting on the fringe of the Bay of Fires it consists of stunning timber structures that provide accommodation and communal facilities for trekkers on a 4-day guided walk from wukalina to larapuna (Eddystone Point). It’s the first walk in Tasmania entirely owned and operated by the Aboriginal Land Council. Poppy Taylor and Mat Hinds only set up their architectural practice in 2013, but beat an impressive field of 400 contenders from 14 countries to win the coveted INDE award. Meantime, accolades also for local architects, Liminal Studio. They have been shortlisted as finalists in the World Architecture Festival awards, which are being held in Amsterdam this November. Against a record number of entries, Liminal Studio has been nominated in the Hotel and Leisure category for their Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge on the East Coast. The nine pavilions, which are nestled amongst the bush, opened for guests in March and feature outdoor tubs and private decks.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

Theatre Royal works

Hobart’s historic Theatre Royal is closing down for six months – but it’s all in the name of progress. Come October, the theatre doors will shut as work ramps up on the adjacent $96 million Hedberg Centre. As well as including a performing arts centre, the Hedberg will also accommodate the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music. The Theatre Royal itself, which dates back to 1837, is not being forgotten. As part of the these works, it will be upgraded with new facilities including a multi-level foyer and expanded amenities. Also, a purpose-built studio with seating for 285 will replace the very confined – and outdated – Backspace Theatre. State Arts Minister, Elise Archer, praised this project as a “game-changer” for Tasmania’s performing arts scene, resulting in the creation of greatly expanded footprint for Hobart’s theatre hub. The new-look Theatre Royal will re-open in May 2019.

3 July 2018, Edition 196

History wins in new award

A prestigious new award – with a $25,000 purse – has chosen a book about Tasmania’s indigenous history as its inaugural winner. The perpetual Dick and Joan Green Family Award selects a publication that celebrates and promotes Tasmanian history and cultural heritage. It has been created in conjunction with the University of Tasmania. Historian and author, Dr Rebe Taylor, won the award for her book, Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search for Human Antiquity, published by Melbourne University Press. Dr Taylor’s book is based on extensive research conducted in museum archives in Oxford and Tasmania. The publication takes the reader into the heart of debates over Tasmanian Aboriginal antiquity, adding to the growing body of work about their lifeways dating back at least 41,000 years. Dr Taylor said: “Tasmanian history is very important to Tasmanians, but it has [also] always been very important to the world.” The award honours the late Dick Green and his wife Joan who were key drivers in the establishment of the National Trust in Tasmania and were also strong supporters of arts and community organisations.

3 July 2018

Art fires winter celebrations

Edition 195_HadleyArt

The winter celebrations are firing-up in Hobart, and this year’s offering includes the Hadley’s Art Prize which is back again, and twice the size.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

Joshua brings jazz back home

A young Tasmanian jazz musician – who is quickly making his mark in New York – is back home for a tour of his favourite haunts. Joshua Dunn, 27, moved to the Big Apple in 2016 after obtaining a scholarship to study at the William Paterson University which is an exclusive school for talented jazz musicians. Since moving to New York, Joshua has also established himself as a sought-after guitarist in the jazz scene playing in more than 300 shows, ranging from the Lincoln Centre to Brooklyn dive bars. As far as Joshua is concerned he is living the dream; jamming alongside his jazz heroes on a vintage 1940 Gibson L7 guitar. He also told a university publication that being Australian has helped him stand out: “If jazz is a music based on innovation, then having a point of difference can be valued. Having an Australian accent to my playing jazz made me interesting in the US.” Joshua’s talents were apparent from an early age, and he began studying at Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music when he was just a fifteen-year-old boy, balancing University studies alongside regular schoolwork. For more information on Joshua’s Tasmanian tour, which includes MONA and Dark Mofo, visit: www.joshdunn.com.au.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

‘Good Designs’ attract accolades

A designer who hails from Ulverstone, David Shaw, has been recognised as among the country’s best, by making it into the finals of the Good Design Awards. The prestigious national awards are now in their 60th year and attracted a record number of entries. They recognise excellence in Australian design across all areas. Mr Shaw specialises in the design of furniture for public spaces and is now based in Brisbane where he heads up his company, Street + Garden. While his works are mostly scattered throughout Queensland, he is keen to head home to Tasmania whenever possible to help beautify our public spaces. And if you would like to try out his cutting-edge designs for yourself, just head to Hobart’s waterfront or newly refurbished Franklin Square, where his stunning seats made from re-floated Hydrowood and patterned metal are on display. The Good Design Awards were held at the Sydney Opera House in May.

12 June 2018, Edition 195

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

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Tasmania's Stories Edition 198

Edition 198_PrinceOfWales

Momentum grows for a special defence precinct. Please enjoy your September newsletter.

16 September 2018, Edition 198

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