Thursday, December 6, 2012

Finding New Ways

Guinea Fowl by Rita Case, 2012,
part of the Interweave Arts
Studio Program 
It is great to see courses being offered to assist artists who need a little help with financial management, marketing and product development. Most of this is focused on up-skilling the individual who is making the work. Of course, there is always a need for this, but I have found that there is also a desperate need for coaching artists who do and do not want to go commercial. Making art can be a very isolated experience. Sometimes that is exactly what is needed. But I have found many artists really value talking to someone who isn’t a relative, fellow artist or friend; someone with an objective eye and voice. It is a privilege to be trusted enough to work with such individuals.
Some of the most inspiring individuals I have worked with in the last couple of years are the team from Interweave Arts; Kim, James, Jay, Judy and Graham. They have been committed to working with artists who have a disability and have teamed up with the Tasmanian Polytechnic and other organisations to produce some amazing community arts projects including Paiste Your Face, I Stand Corrected and a showcase of work exhibited at Alanvale Campus titled, Counting on Art. This is an organisation that really deserves to be supported.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Good Week

Ross Honeywell
Last night I was one of around 25 people who gathered to share a drink in celebration of the formation of the Tasmanian Creative Industries Council, a body whose goal it is to raise the profile and importance of the creative industries especially to government and the broader community.
It was a modest gathering, but with reps from many sectors, it represented the beginning of what really needs to happen if collectively arts and creative organisations and businesses are serious about being heard. Ross Honeywell spoke brilliantly about the need to release Art Tasmania and let it be the creative and entrepreneurial organisation that it needs to be, rather than being hamstrung by bureaucracy.

For me it was close to home. With changes to funding through the Australia Council for the Arts, Tasmanian Regional Arts is looking at skeleton staff in the new year, IF it does not manage to attract funding. This is a huge challenge for a 65 year old organisation that is more used to helping others as opposed to asking for help. But it is now that it needs to hear from those artists, organisations and communities who have been assisted or worked with TRA.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Choosing an Art Life

Art is life, life is art...a quote used over and over again. But how true it is, particularly with some. Rather than art sittting as an accessory to my life, like many, I find it weaving between everything in my life. The choices of clothes and jewellery, where I place a beautiful ceramic sculpture, what I hang on my wall, what I read and even what I choose to eat. There is a bubbling passion for all that keeps it all alive.
I have been frustrated of late that due to personal upheavals I have not been able to attend the many shows, exhibitions and events that are either sent via Facebook, emails or I spot in the newspaper. I feel very apologetic almost to the point of sending a note to the artists, performers or organisers explaining my non attendance. I stop myself of course, knowing that I may appear a little disturbed by doing so and console myself with the thought that this is not permanent. I will see shows again, I will experience amazing art again, I will get back out to MONA and enjoy another festival.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I still feel a little dazed from a week in Sydney checking out the Biennale. It was a fantastic experience that brought me in contact with artists from within and outside Australia. Traditional art forms and new innovative approaches; some of which blew my mind. Check out the reviews at WriteResponse.

Lily modelling Origami Warrior
The creativity never stops as I returned to Hobart to prepare 3 recycled garments for the Remade Fashion Show as part of Junction Arts Festival 2012 in Launceston. It was a brilliant event with involvement from students from the Tasmanian Polytechnic, established designers and people like me, who were just keen to make something. It was a great experience to be involved in the event as a maker, as much of my time is supporting makers to do what they do. This was an opportunity to cut, tear, sew and staple. And it was fun! A big thanks to Interweave Arts and the organisers. And a huge thank you to the model, Lily Churchill. I am already thinking about designs for next year.

Now slightly exhausted from my trip up North, I am back in the TRA office talking with Sue Nettlefold about the upcoming Gallery of Small Works. I love this idea. Artists are invited to contribute small artworks for the exhibition which will be held at Gallery Art Spaces in Triabunna. It's an opportunity to tap into the thousands of visitors who travel the East Coast of Tasmania over the Christmas and New Year period. And I am already thinking about a painting I can contribute. If you are interested contact Sue at A percentage of money raised through the sale of the works will go towards an arts hub based in Triabunna that will support regional artists, workshops and the region.

Sue is not only an accomplished painter and project developer, but she is about to launch a new book Tasmanian Paintings. It is a beautiful collection of her thoughts and artworks and is available for $10 as an ebook or will be available soon for $20 at great book shops.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creative Wandering

Reflecting on a great weekend with so many creative opportunities.  Early Saturday morning I headed to Somercotes Cherry Farm on the Southern side of Ross to meet other writers who all contribute to WriteResponse. It was a great workshop with Jane Deeth joining us to share her knowledge and insight into reviewing and reflecting on contemporary art. What an amazing wealth of knowledge she has.
The location was stunning and one that we are sure to revisit. Perfect for writing or painting and I am already thinking of ways to get back there.

The workshop was about preparing the team for a trip to Sydney to write about the Sydney Biennale. The last part of Saturday was about planning for Sydney and it looks like two small teams of writers will be heading off in early and late August.

That evening I headed off to see Dean Stevenson in The Unsuitable Case of Me. Written by Finnegan Kruckemeyer with spaces left for Dean to insert his very clever and beautiful songs, this was a lovely experience. I won't share anymore as the review will soon be up on the WriteResponse.

Sunday I headed South with the aim of spending a few days trying to finish a report about my work with Tasmanian Regional Arts. The drive was stunning and I took the time to drop in on a few of my favourite people. First was a quick detour to Gay Hawkes studio in Dunalley. She wasn't around but I took some time to enjoy the incredible blue bay and jetty filled with fishing boats. Gorgeous blues and greens.

Onto Sommers Bay to catch up with Naomi Howard. A pie, cuppa tea and was lucky enough to see some of her new works. Just gorgeous and I can't wait to see what she produces over the coming weeks.

That curving drive down into Eaglehawk Neck is stupendous and it never disappoints. The shack was fantastic, but I found myself wishing I could relax and do more creative writing. Perhaps next time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Deborah Wace

Really excited to be working with Deborah Wace, a Hobart based artist on a series of beautiful works that we hope to distribute throughout Tasmania and further afield.

Artists and non profits in New York

Interesting article and link to survey about artists working with not for profits. Check out The Auxiliary Museum

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ulverstone Wharf Precinct

Heading North to meet with a passionate group of individuals interested in the future of the Ulverstone Wharf Precinct. Council joins business, community groups and the arts community to develop an exciting program of events, starting with the launch of the new wharf building later in the year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sheila's Sheds

Just caught up with one of my favourite people, Gay Hawkes, acclaimed furniture maker and creator. Gay is renowned for her beautiful work that sits in most galleries and collections around Australia and overseas. She is offering an opportunity for people to learn basic furniture-making, using recycled materials.
Gay's work is impressive, as is her commitment to teach others, so it's a fabulous chance to learn from a skilled and inspiring woman. For more details contact Gay at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tour photographs

Tony Barry getting ready for another show. In good form!

Alwyn Lewis, the writer and poet...looking glamorous!

Guitarist Alan Brown, Double Bass Steve Martin and Composer & Saxophone Laurie Lewis. A bunch of hep cats!

Carol Maney

Working with Carol Maney, an amazingly talented photographer based on the West Coast of Tasmania. Carol has an exhibition of new works that will be on show on the West Coast in February 2013.
Her unique photographs and hand coloured technique combine beautifully to not only capture this harsh environment, but to enhance it.

Poetry and Jazz

Just back from playing 'roadie' on tour with Rhythm, Rhyme and Rhubarb, a touring show that's part of the Tas Regional Arts Touring Menu.
With fantastic musicians, writer Alwyn Lewis and acclaimed actor Tony Barry, it was an absolute delight to trip around the edges of Tasmania with this troupe.
The response from the audiences, especially at Kettering, Triabunna and St Helens was fantastic and we were all made to feel very welcome by the locals.
Another reminder of the joy of working in the arts. Jazz and poetry; a new phenomena for me, but one that I will be seeking out further.
Thanks for the memories, guys!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Graphic Novels

I remember reading or viewing my first graphic novel (outside of Archie & Veronica) almost 20 years ago. It was a dark and brooding affair, which has stayed with me. In a few black and white pages the author managed to terrify, elate and infuriate me-it was great. Unfortunately I lent it to a friend and it was never to be seen again.
Josh Santospirito is doing some great work that can be viewed on his website. He is also planning towards an exhibition at Inflight later in 2012. Check it out

Watermark Design

This is an exciting collaboration between designer Fiona Tabart and ceramicist Peter Battaglene. One of their many pieces is on display as part of the LACE exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A literary man

I was lucky enough to have tea this morning with a very well read gentleman, Mr Thomas Connelly. The green tea from Tricycle Cafe provided the perfect accompaniment to the conversation which revolved around poetry, James Joyce, Shakespeare and a bunch of Tasmanian writers who have frequented his second hand bookshop Shambles.
They come, they read from their books while punters sip wine and nibble on Tassie cheese. It all sounds very civilised, but definitely unpretentious. Thomas has so much knowledge about authors, poetry and literature and is an advocate for writers, artists and performers. Along with monthly readings, the shop also hosts exhibitions and other events.
It is definitely worth dropping into this little bookshop, especially to spend some time chatting with Thomas, but in the meantime check out his blog at

Shambles Bookshop
Shop 4, 5/5 Fitzroy Street, Sorell Ph: 6269 2496


SEVENTH ACCEPTING PROPOSALS; for Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Project Space and Night Screen for the July to December 2012 Calendar. Application close: Friday 30th March 2012

For more information on how to apply for exhibitions visit:  or

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Setouchi Triennale

Organisers are calling for art proposals for the second version of the Setouchi Triennale held in 2013 (Application Period is from 17 to 31 May, 2012), a contemporary art festival that takes place on several islands of the Seto Inland Sea. Seven Australian artists participated in the inaugural festival which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. Please visit for information on the Australian participation in the 2013 festival. Link for entering is

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Call for entries

Nectar Magazine is a fine art publication that is currently looking for submissions for the theme “Most of Us Die.” Any type of art and writing is accepted.
Current Theme: Most of Us Die   Deadline: June 1, 2012
Medium: ANYTHING. Writing, photos, illustration, design, photos of sculptures or performance, paintings, etc. If it fits the theme, they want to see it.
Images: They would like up to 10 .jpg files with a minimum of 1000 pixels on the long side, 72 dpi.
Writing: If you have writing, send up to 4 pieces or up to 30 pages total in .doc/.docx/.rtf/.pdf format. If your image is chosen, they will ask for a higher resolution image for publication.
Info: Your name as you would like it to be published, Title, Year, and Medium for each piece. Please include a short explanation of the work, unless you feel that it explains itself. Name of gallery that the piece is represented by, if applicable.
SUBMISSION IS FREE   Email entries to Feel free to ask questions too. They will notify you after the deadline if your work is chosen to be published in this issue.

Monday, February 13, 2012

BraveArt - a new gallery

A new gallery is opening in Longford called BraveArt Gallery. Check out the website.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jackeys Marsh Forest Festival Art Trail 2012

I was lucky enough to experience the work of Tasmanian artists at the recent Art Trail at Jackeys Marsh Forest Festival. Check out my review at writeresponse

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cricket Art Prize - $20 000

The Cricket Art Prize is an interesting art competition with $20 000 of prize money available. Artists are invited to submit works completed in the year prior to the closing date of 21st August 2012. It can be figurative, semi-abstract, still life, figure in landscape and in most medium.
This is a NSW administered prize, but is open to artists nationally. Email or call 0411 572 100 for more information.

Noni Howard

It's been an exciting 2011 for Noni Howard which culminated in a fantastic exhibition Radiant Heart at Sidespace Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. Inspired by her travels to Italy, her work reflected her experiences and the people and culture she encountered. Her work is vital, energetic and comes straight from the heart.
To view Nonis work or enquire please email her at

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