Arts

NORTH WEST ARTIST AWARDED SOLO COMMISSION

Ellie Ray, Dianne Sheehan
26.07.16 2:50 pm

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Lisa Garland, Freddy and Gwen, 2016, giclée print from film negative

Lisa Garland: Still Reverence
Devonport Regional Gallery Solo Commission
13 August – 25 September 2016

Opening Friday 12 August, 6 pm

Each year the Devonport Regional Gallery presents an exhibition of works by a mid-career Tasmanian artist. The 2016 Solo Commission was awarded to North West artist Lisa Garland and provided her with support to research and create a new body of work.

Lisa Garland has produced an extraordinary series of black and white photographs and video work for this commission which primarily focus on a selection of subjects in the Devonport region. The impetus for this body of work ‘took flight’ when Garland moved into a new teaching role at Don College. An astute observer of people and their surroundings, she was captivated by specific characters and scenes as she drove to work.

Working with a large format film camera Garland creates moody black and white photographs. For this commission, the photographic film has been scanned and printed digitally as large scale images. On entering the exhibition viewers will become involved in a strange world of observations where the photographed subjects look out as we the viewer ‘look in’ at the subject within their domestic spaces. Garland views her subjects with reverence – she listens to their stories, empathises with them and photographs them in a way that captivates the viewer – we can almost ‘hear’ their stories. Garland represents personalities that might otherwise appear as anonymous faces in the crowd. Her non-peopled spaces seem to take on a personality of their own and are strategically placed between different series of portraits.

Upcoming events:
In Conversation with the Artist | Thursday 1 September, 2.30 pm
An insightful look into Garland’s processes, techniques and influences that surround her work. Secondary and Tertiary students studying photography and/or portraiture are encouraged to attend.

Twilight Tour | Thursday 15 September, 5.30 pm
Take a tour through Still Reverence with the artist, Lisa Garland and learn more about the works included in the Solo Commission exhibition.

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Peacock Theatre, Aug 4 - 14, 7.30pm: The Merchant of Venice

Katie Robertson Marketing and PR Manager
25.07.16 5:45 pm

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LOUD MOUTH
THEATRE COMPANY
PRESENT

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

OPENS NEXT WEDNESDAY!
AUGUST 4 – 14
PEACOCK THEATRE

THE REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS
DIRECTOR
Maeve Mhairi Macgregor

CAST
Sara Pensalfini as Shylock

With Emesha Rudolph, Robert Maxwell, Martin Spurway-Smith, Jared Goldsmith, Jessica Davies, Connor Carthy, Katherine Tucker, Jane Hamilton-Foster, Paul Levett, Eri Konishi, Rob Braslin, Kallista Adkins and Victoria Bremner.

THE GIST
Bassanio goes to his best friend for a loan to finance his wooing of the beautiful Portia, an heiress worth her weight in gold. With all his capital tied up in sea trade, Antonio contracts himself to the userer and Jew, Shylock: for three thousand ducats or a pound of flesh, due in three months.

As Antonio’s ships sink, Bassanio woos his lady, and Shylock is tested to her limits, the powers of love and money and the unending cycles of finance and violence will be interrogated in this production of one of
Shakespeare’s most confronting plays.

THE QUOTABLE QUOTES FROM DIRECTOR MAEVE MHAIRI MACGREGOR

“Sometimes, I look at a record of works performed over and over again, and I think to myself - “Gee, that is a great role… but I reckon a woman would be amazing in it. Why have I never seen a woman play that role?” So, I set about it for myself to get a woman to play that role. And that is a how I have always felt about the Merchant of Venice. Shylock has always been a woman in my mind. She has been a single mother, like my own mother, who has fought against all odds to succeed, not for herself, but for her family and her community. I can’t think of any actor more suited to the role than Sara Pensalfini, and working with her once again has been a privilege.”

“I recently returned from a trip to Europe, where I was working for Terrapin Puppet Theatre. On my way home I was lucky enough to visit Venice, with support from the Andrew Jones Travel Scholarship. The three days I spent there were incredibly informative. The history of the Venetian Jewish community, long lunch breaks, men that know how to wear pants… The list of what I learnt about history and culture goes on and on, and maybe you’ll see a shadow of it on the stage at the Peacock.”

“It’s been super exciting to work with performers from a verity of backgrounds. Some professional actors, some stand up comedians, children’s entertainers, some singers, some dancers, some young and emerging actors - the absolute most exciting thing about rehearsing this show is the diversity of experience and skills brought together in the room to work on a play that is really about that diversity of experience.”

THE ONES BEHIND THE MADNESSLoud Mouth is a Tasmania-based theatre company committed to producing new, collaborative and professional theatre experiences.

Barging onto the local scene in 2014 with their hit debut ‘Venus In Fur’, Loud Mouth have continued to prove that they are here to stay.

“To me, Loud Mouth represents the future of theatre here and in them I see the next generation of professional Tasmanian theatre.”
- Charles Parkinson, Artistic Director, Tasmanian Theatre Company

THE PRICE YOU HAVE TO PAY

http://www.loud-mouth.co or through Salamanca Arts Centre or Centertainment 6234 5998

$15 - $25

Opening night is Pay What You Want (Door Sales Only)

August 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th – 13th
7:30pm

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Despard:  ENDANGERED ... last week!

Steven Joyce, Despard Gallery
25.07.16 5:16 pm

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Last week of

ENDANGERED
BY RODNEY POPLE

On display at Despard Gallery till Sunday 31 July 2016!

View Online HERE

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Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award

Devonport Regional Gallery
25.07.16 9:27 am

Devonport Regional Gallery HERE

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Controversial Cardinal George Pell portrait wins irreverent 2016 Bald Archy Prize

Deborah Rice, ABC
23.07.16 6:10 am

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Pat Hudson’s winning portrait of Cardinal George Pell titled ‘Nothing to Say’. (Supplied)

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The 2005 Bald Archy Prize winning portrait of George Pell and Tony Abbott. Artist: Tony Sowersby

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Political figures featured heavily among the contenders. ABC News: Ian Cutmore

A controversial painting depicting Cardinal George Pell with a face formed from male genitalia has won Australia’s most irreverent portraiture prize.

Titled ‘Nothing to Say’, the painting is the work of artist Pat Hudson, a first time entrant in the Bald Archy, which is a parody of the more serious and revered Archibald Prize.

“It’s a great honour and a big surprise,” Hudson, from Templestowe in Victoria, said.

The 2016 contenders were unveiled in Canberra in February and the artist said he painted the portrait in response to the controversy surrounding Cardinal Pell at that time.

A portrait of Cardinal George Pell with a penis as a nose and a devil’s tail.

At the time it was unclear whether the Cardinal would testify at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

He later gave evidence via videolink from Rome over his handling of alleged abuse by Catholic Priests within the church in Australia.

Cardinal Pell is not the subject of any allegations of abuse before the commission.

Read the full ABC story - and more pictures - HERE

 

 

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Jeff Lang releases limited edition vinyl rarities album via French based Red Hair Records

Joe Zucco
21.07.16 6:54 pm

Jeff Lang says;

“A few years back I was touring in Europe and this guy would show up at various concerts. He was always full of energy, asking a lot of insightful questions about specific songs, even showing up a couple of times bearing gifts of recorded music - a Big Bill Broonzy LP, an album with Blind Willie Johnson on one side and an interview with his widow on the other, the first Sweeney’s Men album. Always on vinyl, always the good stuff. A music fan.

Turns out he was secretly planning on entering the waters of the record business and he’s started up a vinyl record company called Redhair Records. I’m flattered that for his first foray he wanted to press an LP of rarities from my career thus far. I had a trawl through the collection and turned up some good stuff - a couple of live songs at the late, lamented Continental in Melbourne from the weekend after recording the Everything Is Still album; a previously forgotten song co-written with Tim Hall and recorded at the sessions for my first album Ravenswood in 1994; an alternate take of a stomping rock ‘n’ roll song from the sessions for Carried In Mind; a live version of Some Memories Never Die which rises and falls like the tide recorded in Sydney in 2006.

I’m doing a run of solo shows to get this LP out there into folks hands, hope to see you there.”

Don’t miss your chance to buy one of these ultra rare goodies at one of the shows on the vinyl launch tour.

“In a world where music is diluted by money and plasticine, give thanks that Jeff Lang is out there… He paints pictures in sound.” Beat Magazine

Australian-based musician Jeff Lang has earned worldwide acclaim as a virtuosic guitarist, a dynamic songwriter and a startlingly unique live performer. With a back catalogue of 15 studio albums, Jeff has been featured at major festivals, pubs, clubs, arts centres and venues internationally for the past decade. Blending rock, roots, folk, blues, ballads, instrumentals, improvisation and a devastatingly high level of musicality, Jeff Lang is a singularly unique performer in our world.

Over the years, Lang has built up a devoted, almost cult-like following with his live performances. Working without a set list and allowing the unique energy of each night to shape the songs, Lang’s live shows have become much talked about, always taking the audience along for the ride, has seen word of mouth bloom into a successful career.

It’s been widely acknowledged that Jeff Lang is an extraordinarily individual musician. What enhances his unique nature is his steadfast adherence to a prolific and diverse musical palette and output. A songwriter, a collaborator, a guitar virtuoso and a stunning lyricist, Jeff Lang crafts songs as novellas - rich with depth and vision, yet with an open breathe for individual interpretation.

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Jeff Lang releases limited edition vinyl rarities album via French based Red Hair Records

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
21.07.16 6:07 pm

image.

Jeff Lang says;

“A few years back I was touring in Europe and this guy would show up at various concerts. He was always full of energy, asking a lot of insightful questions about specific songs, even showing up a couple of times bearing gifts of recorded music - a Big Bill Broonzy LP, an album with Blind Willie Johnson on one side and an interview with his widow on the other, the first Sweeney’s Men album. Always on vinyl, always the good stuff. A music fan.

Turns out he was secretly planning on entering the waters of the record business and he’s started up a vinyl record company called Redhair Records. I’m flattered that for his first foray he wanted to press an LP of rarities from my career thus far. I had a trawl through the collection and turned up some good stuff - a couple of live songs at the late, lamented Continental in Melbourne from the weekend after recording the Everything Is Still album; a previously forgotten song co-written with Tim Hall and recorded at the sessions for my first album Ravenswood in 1994; an alternate take of a stomping rock ‘n’ roll song from the sessions for Carried In Mind; a live version of Some Memories Never Die which rises and falls like the tide recorded in Sydney in 2006.

I’m doing a run of solo shows to get this LP out there into folks hands, hope to see you there.”

Don’t miss your chance to buy one of these ultra rare goodies at one of the shows on the vinyl launch tour.


“In a world where music is diluted by money and plasticine, give thanks that Jeff Lang is out there… He paints pictures in sound.” Beat Magazine

Australian-based musician Jeff Lang has earned worldwide acclaim as a virtuosic guitarist, a dynamic songwriter and a startlingly unique live performer. With a back catalogue of 15 studio albums, Jeff has been featured at major festivals, pubs, clubs, arts centres and venues internationally for the past decade. Blending rock, roots, folk, blues, ballads, instrumentals, improvisation and a devastatingly high level of musicality, Jeff Lang is a singularly unique performer in our world.

Over the years, Lang has built up a devoted, almost cult-like following with his live performances. Working without a set list and allowing the unique energy of each night to shape the songs, Lang’s live shows have become much talked about, always taking the audience along for the ride, has seen word of mouth bloom into a successful career.

It’s been widely acknowledged that Jeff Lang is an extraordinarily individual musician. What enhances his unique nature is his steadfast adherence to a prolific and diverse musical palette and output. A songwriter, a collaborator, a guitar virtuoso and a stunning lyricist, Jeff Lang crafts songs as novellas - rich with depth and vision, yet with an open breathe for individual interpretation.

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Devonport Regional Gallery: UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS

Dianne Sheehan Education & Public Programs Officer
21.07.16 10:22 am

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Cliff with his Mum Anna at a recent 1, 2, 3 Create session

123 Create

Devonport Regional Gallery’s popular monthly arts education program for children aged 1–3 years and their parents welcomes Gareth Taylor to the role of facilitator. 1, 2, 3 Create uses music, art and sensory play to create a fun, educational program for children aged 1–3 years with their carers and parents. The program provides a stimulating environment in the gallery setting for young children to socialise and connect with art objects and ideas through music, movement, play and art making.

The facilitator tailors each session around the themes and contents of the exhibitions on display, and encourages parents and their children to engage with the works in the Gallery.

New facilitator, Gareth Taylor, brings a wealth of music and education skills to the program, having extensive experience as a teacher of music and performing arts to children of all ages and those with a disability.

Gareth recently relocated to Devonport from Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian Institute of Music, Sydney, and a Master of Teaching from Western Sydney University.

Upcoming sessions:
Monday 15 August & Monday 12 September, 10 – 11.30 am
Devonport Regional Gallery
Cost: $5 per child
Bookings: 6424 8296 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Life Drawing

Devonport Regional Gallery is excited to offer the popular Life Drawing classes across August and September 2016. This five week course commences on Tuesday 23 August from 6 to 8 pm, and is led by Latrobe artist June Wilson.

June will take you through the various techniques used to draw the body, with the life model presenting a range of postures. This popular course fills very quickly, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Tuesdays 23 & 30 August, 6, 13 & 20 September 2016, 6 – 8 pm

Devonport Regional Gallery
Cost: $95 / $80 members
Bookings: 6424 8296 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In Conversation with the Artist: Lisa Garland (for students)

North-West-based 2016 Solo Commission artist, Lisa Garland, will present a special educational talk for secondary and tertiary students at the Devonport Regional Gallery on Thursday 1 September, 2.30 pm.

Lisa Garland has produced an extraordinary series of black and white photographs and video work for this commission which primarily focus on a selection of subjects in the Devonport region.

Working with a large format film camera Garland creates moody black and white photographs. On entering the exhibition viewers will become involved in a strange world of observations where the photographed subjects look out as we the viewer ‘look in’ at the subject within their domestic spaces. Garland views her subjects with reverence – she listens to their stories, empathises with them and photographs them in a way that captivates the viewer – we can almost ‘hear’ their stories.

In this educational artist talk, Garland will be discussing her influences and techniques which inspire her work, and is a must for any student practicing photography and/or portraiture.

Lisa Garland’s Solo Commission exhibition opens Friday 12 August, 6 pm and is on display until Sunday 25 September.

Register your interest by contacting the Gallery on 6424 8296 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Terrapin joins forces with Melbourne Theatre Company for a new family show

Kevin O'Loghlin, Terrapin Puppet Theatre
20.07.16 3:37 pm

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Pic: Jeff Busby

Terrapin Puppet Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company combine to present Egg, a brand new family production that mashes together puckish pranking and wide-eyed wonder in an eco-adventure about hope and the promise of renewal. Silly and funny and a little bit cracked, Egg will be performed in Launceston, Devonport and Hobart after its premiere Melbourne season.

The acclaimed creative team of writer Angela Betzien and director Leticia Cáceres unite with puppetry director Sam Routledge for this quirky story for ages eight to eighty, starring comedy favourites Genevieve Morris and Jim Russell, and brilliant puppeteer Michelle Robin Anderson. The production also features the talents of Owen Phillips as the set and costume designer.  Schooled at Elizabeth College in Hobart, Owen went on to study theatre design at NIDA and his work has been nominated for multiple awards. Terrapin Artistic Director Sam Routledge said, ‘It is a joy to be working with the renowned Melbourne Theatre Company on this exciting new play. Egg will capture the imagination of audiences young and old when it travels across Tasmania next July, and transport them into this futuristic tale with an important message at its core.’

Across a dry and dusty desert, two tinkers, Clyde and Horse, drag an enormous egg. They can’t remember how long they’ve been dragging it, or why they’ve been dragging it, or where they are dragging it to. All they know is that it’s really important. Life on their big bald egg of a planet depends upon it. So there’s nothing to be done but to go on. Let’s tug this great big googy into the future. And who knows? Maybe something wonderful will hatch.

Egg will be performed at the Earl Arts Centre in Launceston on July 22-23, Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre on July 26, and the Theatre Royal Hobart on July 29-30.  More details at http://www.terrapin.org.au.

CREATIVE TEAM
Writer: Angela Betzien
Director: Leticia Cáceres
Puppetry Director: Sam Routledge
Set & Costume Designer: Owen Phillips
Lighting Designer: Andy Turner
Composer & Sound Designer THE SWEATS
Starring Genevieve Morris, Jim Russell and Michelle Robin Anderson

Established for over 35 years, Terrapin is Australia’s centre of excellence for contemporary puppetry in Australia, creating puppetry-based performances for young people and their families. Playing to more than 10,000 Tasmanian children each year, the company tours nationally and internationally and over the past two years has performed across Australia, in Hong Kong, Canada, the USA, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The Hobart performances of Egg are presented in association with the Theatre Royal, the Launceston performances in association with Theatre North at the Princess, and the Devonport Performances with the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre.  Terrapin Puppet Theatre is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.

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Classic Katrina Walking in Tasmania, Rain or Sunshine

Paula Xiberras
20.07.16 7:54 am

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Although it’s not the best of starts for her Australian tour with it raining down in Sydney, when I call Katrina Leskanich (of Katrina and the Waves) she is upbeat in overcoming the jetlag and in spite of the inclement conditions is keen to check out the Botanical Gardens as well as some ‘off the beaten track’ places but will be equally happy even to visit the mall.

That is Katrina, always seeing the ‘sunshine’ even on a rainy day.

Surprisingly, I learn that Katrina probably knows Tasmania better than I do having, on a previous visit ‘walked from one side of the island to the other’ checking out coffee shops along the way. Katrina says she had a fantastic time and thinks Tasmania is ‘a very special place with friendly people’.

Katrina is always keen to experience the places she visits and what they have to offer and thinks those that are content with a tour from plane to hotel to venue and don’t take advantage of opportunities to explore the sites are missing out and placing themselves in a bubble of self-importance and if they are scared of being recognised on these adventures, she says, ‘have you heard of a baseball cap?’.

Katrina believes the 80’s gives us escapism to a music with a simple melody and a time of ‘positivity and joy’. Katrina beautifully says ‘music is the sanctuary of the misfits and outcasts’ and those that believe in that sunshine.

I ask Katrina about her success in the Eurovision song contest in 1997. Katrina says the competition ‘is an interesting phenomonen’ and ‘a recipe of culture’. Katrina is glowing in her support of this year’s show and Australian entrant Dami Im, saying she ‘was the best’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘should have won’.  She believes Australia has opened the door for America, Canada and New Zealand to also take part although perhaps the contest name will have to change!

Multi-talented Katrina has also hosted TV programs and starred in musicals playing Elli Greenwich, in ‘Leader of the Pack’ the musical telling the story of the life of the singer and songwriter of such songs as ‘Be my baby’, ‘Leader of the pack’ and ‘River deep mountain high’, songs that influenced Katrina’s own music.

Katrina is also a writer having penned ‘Peggy Lee Loves London: my London’ which will be released this year as ‘Metropoodle’. The book details the story of Katrina’s toy poodle’s adventures. Further adventures for Peggy will include one to Cornwell, Ireland and just maybe one day, Tasmania.

The last word should reference Katrina’s song ‘Walking on Sunshine’ a song that always ‘brings her joy’ and ‘has never let her down’. Thank you Katrina, for never letting us down and bringing us joy with your music.

Katrina will perform with the ‘Totally 80s’ tour at the Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Friday 22nd July at 8.30pm.

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Town Hall: The Eye of Heaven (2)

Sue Leschen, Loose Canon Chamber Singers
19.07.16 2:05 pm

Download Poster ...

LC_EYE_Poster_v6.pdf

Helen Thomson (soprano) with Lynette Smith (piano), Janet Rutherford (viola), Genevieve Stather (clarinet) and Tracey Patten (percussion).

Loose Canon Chamber Singers directed by Elizabeth Eden and Helen Thomson with Anna Chilcott (piano) and Tracey Patten (percussion)

Sunday 31st July 3-30pm, Town Hall.
Tickets are $25 each, $20 concession - available at the door.

Loose Canon is pleased to present an afternoon of choral and vocal music by Australian composers. The programme will begin with Eizabeth Eden directing Loose Canon Chamber Singers in a series of choral favourites including works by Joseph Twist, Graeme Morton, Stephen Leek, Becky Llewellyn and Matthew Orlovich. Highlights will be Iain Grandage’s “Wheat belt” with Tracey Patten (percussion) and, Frank Hutchen’s “The Australian Sunrise”

Helen, Lynette and Janet will perform the world premiere of “Dark River”, a song cycle composer Ralph Middenway. The ensemble will also perform the world premiere of “Fragments of a Prayer” by David Cassat.  In the final bracket, Thomson will direct Loose Canon in premieres of extracts from Middenway’s song cycle, “Eye of Heaven”; as well as his beautiful, contemplative “Lute-book Lullaby” and Cassat‘ sacred works, “O Magnum Mysterium” and “Psalmus “.

 

 

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FESTIVAL OF VOICES 2016 WRAPS UP

Festival of Voices
19.07.16 2:01 pm

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Read more HERE

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Tassie’s guitar girl, Heloise, is a hit in Melbourne

Paula Xiberras
19.07.16 7:47 am

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I spoke to musician, the lovely Heloise last week regarding the 2016 Melbourne Guitar Show. It was a privilege to catch up with Heloise again and chat to her about the evolution of her career in music.

The Melbourne based musician is a former Tassie girl and regularly returns to do gigs and catch up with family, the latest occasion of her visit being April, with hopes to return in September. Heloise says she was delighted with the many people that came along to her gigs in Tassie, including people she didn’t know but who had discovered her music by word of mouth. Heloise considers her Tassie performances her best of the tour.

Heloise says she is stoked to be a spokesman for Melbourne’s annual guitar show. She is also an advocate for performers to learn the guitar because of the level of control it gives you over your music. It is a difficult process to explain to someone else what you want to achieve with a song, so having that level of control in being able to create and play the music yourself is almost essential. With Heloise’s guitar playing skills, song writing is an independent process that allows her to have that ‘ping’ of epiphany when a song is complete. Heloise tells me she is just sorry she has not as yet learned the keyboard!

The Melbourne Guitar show is an industry run show by the Australian Music Association. This year’s show will feature 70 exhibitions with an amazing array of both electric and acoustic guitars as well as amps, FX and ukeles! There will be tips and guitar tutors available as well.

A number of bands will be performing, including the lovely Heloise herself. As she says the opportunity for performers to meet industry people there is priceless

The 2016 MGS is at Caulfield Racecourse on August 6 and 7 from 10am-6pm.

You can read more about show here: http://www.australianmusician.com.au/melbourne-guitar-show/

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Dark Mofo receives $10.5m funding, announces 2017 dates

Rebecca Fitzgibbon
18.07.16 5:25 pm

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Dark Mofo ogoh-ogoh procession, picture by Mona/Remi Chauvin

Coinciding with the announcement of Dark Mofo 2017 dates (June 8—21), the Tasmanian Government, through Events Tasmania, has announced a new five-year funding agreement with Mona, continuing ongoing support of the winter festival to 2021.

Since its inception in 2013, Dark Mofo has aspired to lure Tasmanians out of hibernation to revel in celebration of the longest night, while also working to attract visitors to the state in the traditionally quiet winter months.

The new funding agreement, totalling $10.5 million over five years, includes a commitment from Dark Mofo to increase the number of interstate and overseas visitors to embrace winter on the southern island, grow attendance to the festival, increase media exposure and promotion of Tasmania, deliver a Tasmanian regional expansion program each year, and invest at least $250,000 in programming and support of Tasmanian arts-based organisations.

Dark Mofo 2015 returned an estimated $46 million to the economy and created about 400 new jobs, both full time and short term contracts. While this year’s figures are still being compiled, it’s fair to acknowledge that the festival has ignited a passion for pilgrimage to Australia’s southernmost state for the winter solstice.

Dark Mofo Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said: “The five-year agreement that we have reached with the State Government is incredibly important for the ongoing success of the festival. The deal will give us the ability to expand and improve the festival, commission new works, employ and train more Tasmanians, reach further into the regions, and achieve our ambitious tourism targets.

“It will allow us the time and opportunity to develop meaningful long term partnerships with organisations like Tourism Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Detached, Qantas and the Indonesian Government.

“We also hope to increase the presence of the ‘Paint the Town Red’ campaign and see more of Southern Tasmania bathed with that fiery red glow. Having the Hobart and Launceston airports on board this year really added to the carnival atmosphere, but the highlight was the Derwent Valley community, who got into the spirit and outshone Hobart in that regard.

“Ultimately, the festival is primarily being funded because of the community support, and we are very grateful for the passion and at times patience, that our amazing audiences have shown us. We’ll be doing our very best to repay that support by continuing to create unique experiences in the heart of winter, that are as accessible to as many Tasmanians as we possibly can.”

Dark Mofo 2017 will take place June 8—21 in and around Hobart. Subscribe for updates: http://www.darkmofo.net.au

Watch the YouTube vid ...

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CLAYTON JACOBSON HEADS JUDGES IN 2016 AUSSIE BOFA SHORT FILM COMPETITION

Tanya Hussey, Festival Manager
18.07.16 4:32 pm

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Entries close midnight Sunday 31st July for the 2016 Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival’s “BOFA Aussie Short Film Competition”.

The panel of judges this year will include one of Australia’s best known film directors and actors, Clayton Jacobson, who is best known for Kenny, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries and internationally distributed Kenny’s World plus many shorts such as Mordy Koots, Melma, I Love U, Tanaka and Tickler. Clayton has had, as well, a long association with Tropfest.

The competition is open to all Aussie film makers with a film of 15 minutes or less made in the last five years. Up to 40 of the short film entries will be selected for screening at the Festival.

Entries are flowing in from around the country, including New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, as well as Tasmania.  We are excited to see a wide range of genres including Drama, Documentary, Comedy, Animation and Horror.  With just 13 days to go, don’t miss out!

Aussie Launceston is a proud partner of the 2016 BOFA Aussie Short Film Competition. Chris Antypas, Aussie Launceston Franchisee said: “Aussie Launceston is a natural partner for the BOFA Aussie short film competition. We love Australian stories and are excited that a leading Australian film maker like Clayton Jacobson is getting involved and joining this year’s judging panel.”

There will be separate awards for Best Aussie Short Film and Best Tassie Short Film.

Each winning film maker will receive the unique hand crafted blown glass BOFA Devil Short Award plus $1,000.

All short film entrants will receive a pass to see eight films of their choice at the 2016 BOFA Festival and an invitation to the industry only BOFA Devil Awards function.

The seventh Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival will be held in Launceston from Thursday, November 10 to Sunday, November 13.

Entries for the Aussie Short Film Competition close on July 31 and details are on the BOFA web site at http://www.bofa.com.au/short-film-awards/

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Paul’s Booming Career in the Arts

Paula Xiberras
17.07.16 7:31 am

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Paul Lekakis the ‘Boom Boom’ (Let’s go back to my room)’ singer is in Australia on tour, touring with the ‘Totally 80s’ show. Paul was enjoying exploring Sydney when I caught up with him for a chat.

He is very much a renaissance man that can pretty much excel at any of the arts. Paul says it didn’t necessarily have to go that way being from a blue collar family he tells me he could have worked at any career if he had to but luckily it was music dance, acting, fashion and art in which he found his niche and flourished.

He was modelling in Italy when his talent for singing was discovered in a career sense, but his musical talent was discovered long before that by his mother when he was a youngster. Growing up in a family of five children who all enjoyed singing at home Paul was the only one who followed through to make a career out of it and right from the start he was committed to perfecting his craft by singing in choirs and choruses.

He recounts to me the story of when he was practicing singing in the bathroom and opened the door to his mum enquiring’ who was in there with you’. She had heard the distinctive high sounds of Paul’s falsetto voice coming from the bathroom.

Paul studied acting for 3 or 4 years and believes all artistic experience ‘feeds on itself’ for instance his acting experience gave him the skills to interpret and create the emotions of a song.

A visual abstract artist and you can view Paul’s work at the below link

https://www.instagram.com/paullekakisart/

Paul will be performing as part of the ‘Totally 80s’ tour at the Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Friday 22nd July at 8.30pm.

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Bett Gallery: PAT BRASSINGTON En Route

Emma Bett, Bett Gallery
15.07.16 5:20 pm

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Image: Duette 2016, pigment print, 78 x 58cm

OPENING FRIDAY 22 JULY, 5:30 - 7:30PM

EXHIBITION CONTINUES TO 8 AUGUST 2016  

VIEW ONLINE CATALOGUE HERE

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Lyrical Leah Launches Saudades Saturday

Paula Xiberras
15.07.16 6:44 am

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Singer Leah Flanagan visits Tasmania at least twice a year and has regular gigs at MONA. Leah will be in Hobart again this Saturday at the Grand Poobah, when she treats audiences to her new single ‘Chills’ from the album ‘Saudades’.

The appropriately named ‘Chills’ is a song about having feelings for someone who is cold, in that they are keeping an emotional distance. Leah tells me in spite of the tone of this song the album is in fact not totally dark or dramatic.

Leah’s love has always been music even when she worked other jobs they were usually art related roles such as working as an administrator for arts festivals.

With a wonderfully rich cultural background that includes Aboriginal, Irish and Venetian Leah is always keen to explore these influences. Already she has worked in Italy and hopes to do so in Ireland too although she has already collaborated with some of Ireland’s best including Sinead O’Connor, John Spillane and Declan O’Rourke and with Shane Howard has worked on a show about Irish song titled ‘Exile’.

On the indigenous side, Leah has been part of the ‘Black Arm band Musical Theatre Organisation’ and has participated in ‘Buried Country’ the story of Aboriginal country music. The low key launch to the upcoming stage show was held in Tamworth and the show will have its premiere in Newcastle in August. The book that inspired the music was written by Clinton Walker and re-issued for the benefit of younger artists.

You can see Leah Flanagan in Hobart on Saturday the 16th of July at The Grand Poobah.

You can read more about Leah on her facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LeahFlanaganMusic

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Potential Princess from Dallas to Berlin

Paula Xiberras
14.07.16 6:51 am

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Terri Nunn has a sweet addiction to Sydney’s botanical gardens or more particularly the chocolate making session she stumbled across while exploring the, she tells me, gorgeous Sydney and the harbour.

The name Berlin was chosen by Terri’s band member John Crawford because he was fascinated by arts and culture that continued to flourish in that constrictive city. Berlin, the band, too would flourish, although Terri tells me her children, two boys and her 11 year old daughter, are not overly impressed by her musical fame and none wish to follow her into a performing career. Terri’s daughter enjoys dancing but doesn’t see it as a potential career.

Terri wants to be to her children like her parents were to her. Terri’s parents supported her in whatever she wanted to do including expensive investment in her brief flirtation with skating and acting classes before she found her true love in music. Terri says it takes great parents to trust in their child’s choices and she recalls her bold move in giving up acting even after her agent told her she had been offered the role in Dallas that would later go to Charlene Tilton. Terri even tried out for the role of Princess Leia.

Not all was lost with the acting lessons as Terri believes they helped her understand how to express herself in music and telling a story in a performance. A skill she used to great effect in her hit song ‘You take my breath away’.

Teri believes that a song is magical in how it can communicate very individual and personal messages to all who listen to it. The magic in music is that the sharing of a song can make people feel they are not so alone in their experiences.

You can see the lovely Terri Nunn when she takes part in ‘Totally 80s’ at the Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Friday 22nd July at 8.30pm.

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Doroschuk dances his way in safety to Australia

Paula Xiberras
14.07.16 6:38 am

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Ivan Doroschuk, musician from Canadian band ‘Men Without Hats’, is looking forward to visiting Tasmania with the Totally 80’s tour, as he has been told it is very much like Halifax on Canada’s West Coast. At the time of our chat Ivan was getting acclimatised to Sydney and in between rehearsals, exploring Australia which he calls ‘gorgeous’.

The Men Without Hats singer originally considered a quite different career than music studying communications and graphic art at university, however, it seemed everyone at Uni at that time were forming bands and so too, did Ivan. The Men Without Hats name came about because of the necessity to wear hats in the extreme cold weather in Canada and the idea that real men went without.

Ivan is prolific as a lyricist, at one time having 15 songs on the go at once.

He wrote the song ‘The Safety Dance’ because of his own experience of being omitted from clubs for the punk dance of pogoing, jumping up and down in one spot. Says Ivan ‘The song is a gift to the rebellious everywhere’ a message not to be uniform but to dance in your own way’.

Ivan has been doing the 80’s tours for five years now and remarks how great it is to see generational fans. The original 80’s music fans attending concerts with their children.

Ivan is glad he is visiting Tasmania because he is aware of the logistical difficulties it sometimes poses for touring acts to reach as an island just like Vancouver Island in Canada which also sometimes misses out on touring act.

However no such worries this time as ‘Totally 80s ‘is visiting Tasmania please get out an support them at the Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Friday 22nd July at 8.30pm.

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BETT GALLERY CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF EXHIBITING CONTEMPORARY ART IN TASMANIA

Emma Bett, Bett Gallery
13.07.16 5:39 pm

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WINTER SALON

NOW ONLINE: HERE 

BETT GALLERY CELEBRATES
30 YEARS OF EXHIBITING
CONTEMPORARY ART IN TASMANIA  

We have thrown open the vaults and are delighted to present 100’s of works from our storage and stockroom celebrating 30 years of Bett Gallery exhibiting contemporary Australian art. Over 100 artists represented. Works include oils, watercolour, sculpture, printmaking, digital media, drawing, collage… 

EXHIBITION CLOSES MONDAY 18 JULY 2016

GEOFF DYER, STEPHANIE TABRAM, RODNEY POPLE, MAX ANGUS, RICHARD WASTELL, PATRICIA GILES, RICHARD WASTELL, PHILIP WOLFHAGEN, KERRY GREGAN, GLORIA PETYARRE, ROB O’CONNOR, TIM BURNS, ABIE LOY KEMARRE, TOM O’HERN, DOLLY MILLS, IDRIS MURPHY, JONATHAN KIMBERLEY, HELEN WRIGHT, KATHLEEN PETYARRE, DAVID KEELING, BARBIE KJAR, PATRICK GRIEVE, NEIL HADDON, VERNON AH KEE, NOEL MCKENNA, GORDON HOOKEY, AMBER KOROLUK-STEPHENSON, RICHARD BELL, DAVID STEPHENSON, JEAN BAPTISE APUATIMI, ROBERT CAMPBELL, ROGER MURPHY, MARGIE SHEPPARD, PETER STEPHENSON, RAYMOND ARNOLD, JANE BURTON, ANNIKA KOOPS, LES BLAKEBROUGH, JOEL CROSSWELL, AMANDA DAVIES, CURTIS HORE, ANGELA BRENNAN, JOAN ROSS, TOM SAMEK, THORNTON WALKER, SARA MAHER, JOHN KELLY, TRICKY WALSH, PETER JAMES SMITH, NICOLA SMITH, ANNE MACDONALD, LOCUST JONES, JEANETTE JAMES, MICHAEL DOOLAN, MEGAN WALCH, PENNY CROSS, BARBIE KJAR, MICHAEL SCHLITZ, TROY RUFFELS, BRIGITA OZOLINS and many many more… 

Bett Gallery ...

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Public Forum: Is Happiness a Matter of Survival? Short Film Festival!

Richard Bladel
13.07.16 1:41 pm

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Come join the conversation with 6 eminent speakers chaired by Heart 107s Dave Noonan to explore how we promote happiness through personal change, community action & public policy.

“In Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.”1

“Extensive research has shown that happiness is good for our health, for our relationships, happy people have more friends, make more money and are more generous; happy people cope better with stress and trauma; and happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.”2

Kickstart Arts are producing a public forum asking the question “Is Happiness a Matter of Survival?” to investigate the consequences of the above mental health statistics and explore some possible remedies. What can we do as individuals and as a community to bring about positive change in mental health?

The forum explores the causes and conditions of happiness and how to promote them widely through personal change, community action and public policy. What would the benefits be for us as a society if we did? What would the costs be if we didn’t?

Happiness Project Creative Producer Richard Bladel explained the reasons behind the Public Forum: “We’ve met a lot of people who are doing it tough in 2016, we’ve just had an election, and a lot of people are disenchanted and concerned about the state of our health and wellbeing in our Tasmanian communities. We wanted to find a way to stimulate discussion about how communities can lead positive change in well being rather than waiting for some government department to do it. We’ve got to start somewhere, so we came up with the idea of the Forum.”

FORUM CHAIRPERSON: Dave Noonan, Radio presenter on Heart 1073

SPEAKERS: Dr Sonam Thakchoe, Senior Philosophy Lecturer at UTAS

Dr Bruno Cayoun, Clinical Psychologist & principal developer of MiCBT

Deborah Mills, Arts & Cultural Policy Advocate

Dr Nicholas Hookway, Lecturer in sociology School of Social Sciences, UTAS

Jami Bladel, Artistic Director & CEO of Kickstart Arts

Justin Robinson, Director, Institute of Positive Education, Geelong Grammar School

SUNDAY JULY 24 - 2 - 3:30 PM

PEACOCK THEATRE

TIX $10 & $5 (CONC) AT DOOR OR BOOKINGS:

http://events.ticketbooth.com.au/events/22026

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results (4326.0).
Canberra: ABS.
2. Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life, University of California, Berkeley http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/happiness/definition

HAPPINESS: [hap-ee-nis] 1. “The experience of positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful,and worthwhile.”

HAPPINESS IS BACK!

COUNTING UP TO HAPPINESS – THE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

20 REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

20 SHORT FILMS ABOUT HAPPINESS FROM ALL OVER TASMANIA - 2010 to 2016

<b>Kickstart Arts is delighted to announce Counting up to Happiness, a retrospective short film festival of 20 beautiful short films made by Tasmanians of all ages from 8 different communities over 6 years about the things they value and their experience of the true nature of happiness.

Counting up to Happiness is screening at The Peacock Theatre, at the Salamanca Arts Centre from Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 24.

The festival features 4 new films made during 2016 by young people from diverse backgrounds collaborating with professional Tasmanian filmmakers Roger Scholes, Troy Melville, Richard Bladel & David Pyefinch. These films include:

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Taxi Music (Glenorchy) 5 Minutes. 25 seconds.
Afshin is a passionate young musician from Afghanistan who arrived in Australia 2 years ago. Music drives him as he drives taxis through the dark Hobart streets, leading to some interesting encounters. Collaboration with filmmaker Troy Melville. 

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Working It Out (Glenorchy) 4 minutes 12 seconds
When life gets hard, what gets you through the day? Who says Hip Hop can’t be happy? Collaboration between young rappers Nathan Lunson AKA Heartspoken, Jobe Hazard Boucher with Zac Henderson and filmmaker Roger Scholes.

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Sisters of Shred (Hobart) 10 minutes 25 seconds
Young women are taking over the skate parks and shredding the streets. Fast moving story of Australia’s largest and most awesome grrl skateboard group.
Made by 48 Shreddas and filmmaker Richard Bladel.

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Chemical Ocean (Clarence) 4 minutes 12 seconds
A young Aboriginal man’s adrenaline dream poem about a too fast life and the cool blue of nature.
Made by Jordy Gregg & David Pyefinch

Over the last 6 years, Kickstart Arts The Happiness Project has seen artists collaborating in 8 regional Tasmanian communities, with 1572 Tasmanians of all ages making 63 short films about the true nature of happiness. These films have been screened to audiences of over 5,600 people. Now it’s back on screen in Hobart.

COUNTING UP TO HAPPINESS – THE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

PUBLIC SCREENINGS
FRIDAY 22 JULY - 1 PM, 3 PM & 8 PM
SATURDAY 23 JULY - 2 PM, 6 PM & 8 PM
SUNDAY 24 JULY - 4:30 PM

PEACOCK THEATRE, SALAMANCA ARTS CENTRE - TIX $18 & $10 (CONCESSION) AT DOOR OR BOOKINGS

http://events.ticketbooth.com.au/events/22026

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Tomorrow (Wed), 7pm Wild Island: Rachael Alderman, Matt Newton

Matthew Newton Photography, http://www.matthewnewton.com.au
12.07.16 6:11 pm

COLLABORATION for A CAUSE

Mark Horstman from ABC’s Catalyst program will host Collaboration for a Cause, tomorrow night from 7pm at Wild Island Tasmania in Salamanca.

Mark Horstman freely admits to being a scientific voyeur:

“I like to watch much smarter people rolling back the frontiers of knowledge, and broadcast their ideas to the audience they deserve.”

7 - 9pm
Wild Island Tasmania
Shop 8, 33 Salamanca Pl, Hobart, Tasmania 7004

Collaboration for a Cause

A presentation by Biologist Rachael Alderman and Photographer Matthew Newton, and hosted by ABC Catalyst presenter, Mark Horstman.

Rachael will talk about what it is like to be a biologist working on remote islands with Tasmania’s mysterious Shy Albatross and why this work is so important.

Matthew will explain the issues associated with documenting science projects in remote and challenging environments.Together they will discuss their successful collaboration that has resulted in large scale exhibitions around Tasmania and numerous publications nationally that have launched the new Tasmanian Albatross Fund into the public arena.

This talk will examine the many benefits that flow when science and art work together to collaborate for a cause and how visual story telling can engage a new audience, attract philanthropy and drive social change.

Who should attend
• Science professionals and students interested in telling their stories
• Nongovernment organisation, marketing and communications staff
• Communications and education staff at government agencies and universities
• Program directors, curators at institutions
• Photographers
• Concerned citizens, activists and change-makers

All profits go directly to the Tasmanian Albatross Fund.

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Despard Gallery: Graham Lang ...


12.07.16 6:03 pm

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GRAHAM LANG, The Epiphany of St Francis, 2015, oil on card, 120 x 76 cm

Graham Lang winner of the Griffith Review Novella Competition 2016!

Despard Gallery congratulates Graham Lang, winner of the prestigious Novella Project IV prize with his book: A Fulcrum of Infinities. 

Graham Lang was born in Zimbabwe and migrated to Australia in 1990. An MFA graduate from Rhodes University, South Africa, he also holds a PhD from the University of Newcastle where he taught art for twenty years before moving to Tasmania in 2011. His career as a painter and sculptor spans four decades during which he has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas and taken up several artist residencies. Since leaving academe, his art has tended toward a more intuitive approach, exploring a diverse array of subjects, many derived from his literary interests.

Graham has forged a significant career as a writer, exploring associated themes of land and identity in three novels, Clouds like Black Dogs (2003), Place of Birth (2006) and Lettah’s Gift (2011) and the novella, A Fulcrum of Infinities (2016), which won this year’s prestigious Griffith Review Novella Competition.

A Fulcrum of Infinities is also the title of Graham’s second solo exhibition at Despard, opening Wednesday 31 August 2016.

” The title of this exhibition alludes to a perplexing conundrum: that there exists in every living thing an internal physical infinity as endless as that existing externally. This idea grew some years ago after a near-fatal illness and seems to have been the underlying force behind a second theme that attempts to evoke the precarious limbo between existence and extinction. It’s also a good way of saying that with art the possibilities are endless.” Graham Lang, July 2016

NOW SHOWING
Endangered | Rodney Pople | 6 July - 31 July 2016 |

UP COMING
The Uncanny Valley | Jenny Orchard and Mish Meijers | opening Wednesday 3 August 5.30pm - 28 August |

A Fulcrum of Infinities | Graham Lang | opening Wednesday 31 August 5.30pm - 25 September |

LEVEL ONE
15 CASTRAY ESPLANADE
HOBART TASMANIA 7000

http://www.despard-gallery.com.au

+61 3 238 266

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Festival of Voices: UNPLUGGED FESTIVAL EAST COAST OF TASMANIA - FRIDAY 15 - SUNDAY 17 JULY

Festival of Voices
11.07.16 1:43 pm

Read more HERE

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Moonah Arts Centre: A Woman On The Edge

Rod Anderson
10.07.16 4:37 pm

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For 20 years singer/actor Claire Dawson has called Tasmania home.  In August she flies home to the UK to take her latest Tasmanian grown show, A WOMAN ON THE EDGE, to the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“It’s a huge gamble”, says Claire.  “Astoundingly, we were selected by a major presenter to appear for the last week of the festival in one of the top theatres!  So we are up against acts from around the world as well as local favourites like Adam Hills, Josh Byrne and Jimeoin.  Let’s hope our touch of Tasmanian magic does the trick!”

Luckily, the Tasmanian creative team behind Claire is world class, with all three members active on the national and international scene.  Michael Gissing, who created the show’s most distinctive feature, its non stop video backgrounds where Claire appears as her own backing group, is an AFI winning audio and film editor whose clients regularly fly from different parts of the world to have him edit their work in his straw bale, state of the art, studios in Cygnet.  Yolanda Peart-Smith, designer of Claire’s great costumes has worked internationally on movies like Lord of the Rings as well as TV series like the recently completed Kettering Incident. 

Rod Anderson, writer and Director is the only one to have taken a show to the festival before.  “It’s a mind blowing experience”, says Rod.  “There are thousands of performers and tens of thousands of audience members all shopping between the shows that are programmed from 10am till after midnight every day for a month.  Meanwhile the streets have buskers on every block, outdoor stages dotted along the Golden Mile and cabaret venues that open up when all the other stuff starts to wind down.” 

To help boost Claire’s visibility, she is already booked for outdoor stage appearances and a number of cabaret star turns as well as the show itself.  For everything else, the team is relying on reviews, word of mouth and Claire’s inimitable popularity with audiences.  If it succeeds they hope to receive offers for further international seasons from the many presenters who flock to the festival to spot new talent.

A Woman On The Edge opened to a sell out crowd in Hobart’s Spiegeltent in 2015 and has been adapted for the overseas tour.  This “international” version has located much of the show more firmly in Tasmania and plays up Claire’s initial experiences as a girl from Liverpool confronted by life in our island state. Come along and join in the big send off at her final Hobart season on July 22 and 23. The show has been described as a “music and comedy, multimedia tour de force” and it’s very, very, funny.

Where: Moonah Arts Centre, 23 Albert Rd, Moonah
When: Friday July 22, 1.30pm and 8PM; Saturday July 23, 8PM (The gala send off!)
Tickets from the Moonah Arts Centre and from http://www.trybooking.com/LJYR

More Information: http://www.andersondawson.com

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Concert Commentary: the pointe of pointlessness

Simon Barber
10.07.16 8:37 am

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Gleichzeitigkeit (Simultaneity), private sketch as basis for the piano work Meditation, Simon Barber 2014/15

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Concert: “Meditation”, 28th June 2016, Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music
Performers: Michael Kieran-Harvey (piano), Benjamin Price (saxophone)

Quite possibly it wasn’t quite humanly possible to take in the range and depth of music performed by pianist composer Michael Kieran-Harvey and saxophonist Benjamin Price at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music Recital Hall, 5 Sandy Bay Road, Hobart, Tasmania, Down Underneath the rest of the world. Could location and quality have accounted for a disappointing turnout on that Tuesday evening, 28th June 2016 at 7.30pm?

These factors are likely only indirectly relevant considering location has become “wherever” and quality “whatever” now that our mobile devices are tattooed into our foreheads. Correction: will have become tattooed – history is still counting down and I overlooked the fact that we haven’t arrived there yet.

And nor has Tasmania, sadly, arrived. Sure, it’s been on the way (well, at least has purported to be, an oasis projecting mirages of unfulfilled promises) for the 44 years I’ve been Tasmanian and the ineffable, ungraspable identity of place has allowed petty and indulgent settler eccentricity to flourish alongside the perimeter of a psychic black hole: two histories existing like oil and water refusing mutual absorption.

Add to this the hypocrisy and nepotism of the moral and business landscape coupled with the unceasingly nagging demand to be entertained as if it were a human right – the very least the world seems to
owe Vandemonians – then we move somewhere towards the truth of why real culture can be blithely, even wilfully ignored and personal fetishes bloated to dimensions of apparently universal cultural significance.

Why I am bothering to write this? Because an event of historical cultural significance took place on that Tuesday evening in Hobart without a single review: evidently due to a quota on the number of local cultural events to receive a write-up issued by editorial staff located in Melbourne.

Melbourne = somewhere. Hobart = nowhere. The way it always has been.

So, location, at least, does evidently continue to matter after all. What about quality then?

Michael Kieran-Harvey is perceived in the media as a controversial figure mostly due to being extraordinarily talented but not particularly vain. Thus airs and graces, fooling around with stupid manners and dumb ego stroking, tend to be curtly dispensed with in his public dealings. He is outspoken but not mealy-mouthed. He can entertain with élan equivalent to that of the late, widely-placarded Tasmanian Errol Flynn, enjoys an equivalent standing in his own field but, of course, Tasmania – despite improving at cricket since I was a boy, MONA as well as local writer Richard Flanagan recently winning the Man Booker Prize – seems as ever before neither willing nor able to support or acknowledge world class within its midst.

So visiting Tasmania briefly to have my music performed because (a) it is where I still know some people and (b) I haven’t been successful in my “composing career” in Europe mostly due to needing to earn a living (which finally answers the “WTF is Simon Barber anyway” question) my music, as well as those of my colleagues, receives a world-class performance from world class performers whilst the concert audience continued to comprise, as in student days, friends, acquaintances and family one had begged and cajoled into attending despite extensive publicity, living in the age of electronic media, the status of the performers, the quality of the location and instruments and even being granted a modest (if not entirely accurate) media write-up in a local Hobart paper the week before. And entrance wasn’t that expensive either.

New music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The comment was made to me: it is a question of intelligence. That surprises me. I don’t really consider myself “intelligent”. I don’t really know what “intelligent” means. Perhaps “receptive”. But then we all are that. In any case, I was being comforted for the lowish turn-out in statistical terms: classical music comprising probably 5% of music listened to (I refuse to say consumed”); new music making up, at most, 5% of that. Maybe, but I didn’t have any “success” composing pop music either.

Perhaps the chances of success anywhere – as evidenced by David Walsh in his book A Bone of Fact in the context of discussing survival bias – are infinitesimal; success remaining something we nevertheless all fervently strive for, even ruthlessly, only to more or less begrudge one another the same if any is achieved or, less honestly, feign generosity of spirit in declaring our understanding of why it happened to them and not us.

In any case the concert was a spectacular success and those in attendance will not forget it quickly. Perhaps more would have been there had the concert actually been listed rather than just advertised on the ABC FM website: it was indeed broadcast, two days after the event and much later in the evening than originally announced, but was – and at time of writing remains – unlisted. Someone pointed out to me that this is fraud on behalf of the ABC and they would immediately and automatically be sued by the equivalent performing rights associations protecting and representing artists in Europe and the USA.

However, there being little money in classical music and virtually none at all to speak of for new music, litigation remains unlikely and so isn’t an immediate threat to them and therefore our protests – if not altogether brushed aside having received a sympathetic if irrelevant hearing in at least one quarter – fail to rectify a partly technical, partly structural problem whatever its cause or origin may really be.

Welcome back to Australia mate.

Just briefly, to the concert content, for the record: four composers - two local, one refugee from the mainland and one “expat” - me: only I can’t be “ex” pat because I have been over “pat”, vicarious sporting thrills broadcast on commercial TV, since puberty and on becoming an adult after which time the idea of patriotism has continued to revolve around fighting wars for the Americans and scapegoating Muslims/refugees/indigenous people generally. That said, a glimmer of civic pride did kick in a week or so ago seeing “Mt Wellington” now a subtitle to “kunyani” posted on a green road sign in Hobart.

However, back to the composers ...

Don Kay, if referred to at all, frequently attracts the cheesy epithet “elder statesman of Tasmanian music” (alluding to a fictional and ceremonial sense of non-existent grace and nobility in the collective imagination of the settler community). He was my teacher. A real gentleman. But with fire in his soul. He’s not as silly as many take him to be. His art is profound. And at 83 his spirit is as young, joyful, brash and colourful as his music always was and continues to be. It was a real privilege (and, really, my only stroke of good fortune with no strings attached growing up in lutruwita) to have had him as my composition teacher at the Con. He didn’t get in the way. He allowed one to make one’s mistakes and learn from them. He didn’t pretend to know better – or know anything. Like Socrates. Or Peter Sellers in Being There.

He is, though, still more or less ostracised by the local orchestra, obsessed as they are with continuing to pretend to be something other than what they are, but at least he hasn’t been asked to drink poison hemlock by the wider community. Michael and Benjamin played his Triptych, Michael his solo piano piece Dance Rituals, masterfully, befitting the work of a master composer.

Michael, the refugee from Sydney, opened and closed the program with his new solo piano work Piano Sonata #3 “Aporia” and 7 for piano and saxophone respectively. “Aporia”, appropriately titled, refers to the mind-set (or rather lack thereof) personified by Socrates, by Don. Michael presented a topographical survey of established musical syntax in both pieces in a manner accomplished enough to satisfy any Vandemonian’s demand for entertainment. Benjamin played along superbly to Michael’s whimsical piece – an encore skilfully built into the program.

My good friend and colleague, Simon Reade, (no, not a “mate”) who has consistently, loyally and dutifully supported me over 20 years where few others have dared (afraid of collateral damage to their CV if associated with me, probably, but perhaps I’m just overly paranoid at this point…) had his Hommage (à Pierre Boulez) for solo piano interpreted in an appropriately tender manner by Michael. One of the few genuinely modern musical thinkers, Boulez, at the very least, might have been oddly touched to have experienced such a heartfelt dedication in such a culturally remote context. Simon’s masterpiece (yes,
masterpiece), Sonata no.2 for Alto Saxophone and Piano was probably the highlight for me. I’ve known this work for years and while it wasn’t a premiere performance it certainly felt that way. The attention to rhythmic detail whilst letting the piece breathe gave me further insight into a work that will, mandala-like, never lose its fascination for me.

Yours truly, me (the WTF is… guy) had two of his things performed too: CUT originally for bass clarinet and piano, re-adjusted for alto saxophone and piano and Meditation for piano solo. I’ve waited nearly ten years to hear CUT – and it was worth it. An extraordinary performance. All the more touching for me because Frances, Don’s wife who is not in the best of health, stayed up listening to the much delayed broadcast of the concert and commented favourably on the piece just before falling asleep, so Don reported to me. I felt very pleased about that. My new piano piece, Meditation, was, as I should have expected, performed in a totally unexpected manner by Michael. The piece was all bones. I wanted to write the last piano piece ever. Enough churning out music. And the most difficult one.

Enough complexity. Michael played it like a lullaby for the soul of the world. I thought “impressionistic” during the performance. Whilst having a quick proof-read at his place I caught sight of a marking of his annotated to the score: “romantically”. The bastard. I’m a realist (i.e. I don’t live in the 19th century as most composers and musicians do) and he’s marinating me for bullshit Bollywood media sensibilities.

Only the media didn’t particularly care the way he did. And, no, he didn’t turn it into schmaltz (although his virtuosity would have also allowed this cheeky interpretation).

I should, in closing, make a point of thanking Mr Toby Frost for recording the event for the ABC and passing on the recordings for our composers’ private use despite the programming chaos at the ABC. The concert deserves to be a CD release because it is a milestone for Tasmanian (yes, I’ll always be a Tasmaniac) music and, frankly, makes a great deal of other music being written and tirelessly promoted through mass media channels sound less than outstanding.

Simon Barber (b 1971 in Hobart) studied composition with Don Kay at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music from 1995-1998. He has continued to compose – with some artistic breaks – ever since. He has lived and worked in Berlin since 2002, beginning in factories for a pittance, then for language schools for a slightly bigger pittance and is now a freelance teacher of English for a relatively respectable fee (albeit without pension or health insurance prospects). He has been happily married to Antje since 1999 whom he met in Tasmania and who imported him to Germany in February 2002.

Download program notes ...

Meditation_-_program_notes_28.6_.2016_.pdf

The Composers and Performers would like to thank ...

<b.Robert Rule and the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music
Toby Frost and ABC Classic FM
Hobart City Band
Rod Collins
Nicholas Bostock</b>

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RAFT South, 11am today (July 9): Doris Bush Nungarrayi

Stella Gray
09.07.16 6:04 am

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Doris Bush Nungarrayi

RAFT south PRESENTS
Papa Tjukurrpa: New works by Doris Bush Nungarrayi
Stella Gray, Raft south

To celebrate NAIDOC week, RAFT south invites audiences to an exhibition of new and original work by Western Desert Indigenous artist Doris Bush Nungarrayi which showcases the vibrancy and dynamism of Australian Aboriginal culture.

Born in about 1942, Doris Bush Nungarrayi has been exhibiting since 2008 and held her first solo show in 2012. She is one of the the most prolific artists working out of Papunya Tjupi Arts near Alice Springs. Since its establishment in 2007, the arts centre has fostered an artistic revival lead by the relatives and descendants of the artists and leaders behind Papunya Tula, the legendary birthplace of the Western Desert ‘dot painting’ contemporary art movement in the 1970s. Nungarrayi is at the forefront of these artists and cultural custodians, developing ‘new ways to tell old stories’ (https://tjupiarts.com.au/about/).

In this new body of work, Nungarrayi has translated the Papa Tjukurrpa, or ‘Dog Dreaming’ design, which appears frequently in her paintings, into the medium of chalk and pastel on solid black or white canvas. Nungarrayi’s original approach brings the grain of the canvas and the immediacy of the artist’s mark making to the fore, and reflects the influence of Italian artist Giorgia Severi, who has recently been working with the Papunya artists. The x-ray like lines reference the underdrawings that typically foreshadow the final painted canvas and create a dynamic interplay between positive and negative space. The boldly rendered curved web-like patterns give these traditional designs fresh visual impact.

The exhibition will run from July 8 – August 5.

A full catalogue of the works is available on our website: http://www.raftartspace.com.au/doris-bush/


RAFT south
level 1, 30 Argyle St.
Hobart

TAS 7000

art@raftartspace.com.au

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Moonah Arts Centre: Winter at MAC

Moonah Arts Centre
08.07.16 6:12 am

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LEAH FLANAGAN ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE ‘CHILLS’ & NATIONAL TOUR DATES

Emma Wiking
07.07.16 1:11 am

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Leah Flanagan offers you ‘Chills’, the first single from the forthcoming album Saudades.

The opening track on the album, ‘Chills’ sets the scene as Leah’s beautifully wry voice contemplates the heartache of being close to someone emotionally distant, feeling the wrongness and loving them anyway.

The culmination of two years’ work, Saudades was recorded live in the studio with Leah’s band and music director/producer Niall Anderson. Majority of the album was made at the studio of Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, then mixed by Paul McKercher (You Am I, Augie March). Leah’s smokey voice is given full flight with her intuitive backing band driven by the empathic guitar prowess of Adam Pringle, award winning jazz bassist Jonathan Zwartz, Niall Anderson on keys and vibraphone and Miles Thomas on drums.

A songwriter with Venetian, Aboriginal and Irish heritage, Leah Flanagan draws deep from a fascinating historical, geographical and cultural mix. Her incredible journey as an artist is woven with star-studded collaboration with the likes of John Cale, Sinead O’Connor, poet Sam Wagan Watson and France’s Orchestre National de Jazz; a stint in the acclaimed Black Arm Band; duetting with Paul Kelly, taking the stage with Bart Willoughby and Ursula Yovich and recently recording a duet of Archie Roach’s ‘I’ve Lied’ with Marlon Williams.

Raised in Darwin and now calling Sydney home, Leah Flanagan holds a Bachelor of Music from the Elder School of Music in Adelaide where she majored in Classical Voice. Leah’s status as an Indigenous musician is one of pride and respect; she has helped make history with such recent essential albums as Archie Roach’s 25th anniversary reissue of Charcoal Lane and Buried Country 1.5, The Story of Aboriginal Country Music. Now with Saudades she writes an emotional history, one that resonates with her rich musicality; steeped in the complicated romance of deep feelings, wild at heart.

Leah Flanagan sets off on tour through July in support of ‘Chills’, kicking off in Brisbane and running through Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Sydney and Newcastle. 

LISTEN TO ‘CHILLS’ HERE: https://soundcloud.com/leah-flanagan/chills/s-5H36Q

LEAH FLANAGAN - ‘CHILLS’ TOUR DATES

Thursday 14th July - The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
Friday 15th July- Leaps & Bounds Festival, Richmond Theatrette, Melbourne
Saturday 16th July - The Grand Poobah, Hobart
Sunday 17th July - The Jade Monkey, Adelaide
Thursday 21st July - Midnight Special, Sydney
Saturday 23rd July - Sunset Studio, Newcastle
Sunday 24th July - Front Bar and Gallery, Canberra

https://www.facebook.com/LeahFlanaganMusic

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