Renew Devonport Memorandum of Understanding!

Eric Mobbs, Chair Renew Devonport Working Group
25.07.14 6:51 pm

At the signing of Renew Devonport Partners’ MOU today, are, (front) Devonport City Council Mayor, Alderman Steve Martin, Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Sylvia Sayers, (back) Tasmanian Regional Arts’ Renew Devonport Arts Liaison Officer, Eunice Horne, Tasmanian Regional Arts’ Board representative, Lee Cole and Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President and Chair, Eric Mobbs.<

Today the Renew Devonport project was launched with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Devonport City Council, Devonport Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Tasmanian Regional Arts.

Supported by the Devonport Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the project is jointly funded by Tasmanian Regional Arts and the Devonport City Council. The project working group is also in negotiations for further funding from the State Government.

All parties are keen to begin the process of revitalising Devonport’s retail precincts. The model is based on Renew Australia which places creative producers in vacant shops on short-term leases to regenerate retail precincts.

Chair of the Renew Devonport Working Group Eric Mobbs said currently there are 25 vacant shops within the Devonport retail precincts.

“Many Tasmanians have looked at and explored a solution to the empty shops and the economic downturn – Devonport is doing something about it,” Mr Mobbs said.

“Serious interest from property owners was generated in the project when Marcus Westbury of Renew Australia and Marni Jackson of Renew Newcastle visited Devonport on July 14 to present the opportunities,” he said.

During their visit, Mr Westbury and Ms Jackson were given a tour of the city and provided advice to the Renew Devonport Working Group regarding the suitability of potential properties for the project and recommendations on the rollout.

“A number of the vacant shops were identified as potentially suitable, and at least one Renew Devonport project is envisaged to be active by early September,” Mr Mobbs said.

Tasmanian Regional Arts State Executive Member Lee Cole said strong interest has also been received from local artists, but the project team are keen to hear from more.

“We’re very fortunate that we have a diverse and talented creative community in the north-west, and this is a great opportunity for everyone,” Mr Cole said.

Creative thinkers, makers, and artists who are keen to incubate new ideas are invited to submit Expressions of Interest from August 1 to August 21, 2014 at Once expressions of interest close, the Renew Australia team will visit Devonport again to assist in matching creatives with properties.

The project will be facilitated by Tasmanian Regional Arts with support from the Devonport Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

To get behind this exciting initiative, keep an eye on updates at

For further information mail to: Renew Devonport, Devonport Corporate Centre, Bass House, 1st Floor Cnr
Edward & Best Street, PO Box 1262, Devonport, 7310.
For more information and photo opportunities please contact , on 0407 588 700.

Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) is the peak organisation for regional arts
and community based arts in Tasmania.

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Pottering with Potter!

Paula Xiberras
25.07.14 4:50 am


As an actor Benjamin Stratton has travelled to the USA and Europe practising his craft but not as yet to Australia. This September he will visit Australia, including Tasmania and he will in more ways than usual be practising his craft, in fact the craft of the boy magician Harry Potter!

Benjamin is part of the duo that will perform ‘Potted Potter’ a comically condensed journey of all the books. The original production created by Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner as a time filler as fans eagerly awaited the release of the sixth Harry Potter book at a London book store. The dramatic/comedic interlude was so well received that it was picked up by the Edinburgh festival and then further afield.

Benjamin is very much looking Forward to visiting Tasmania, having grown up with the animated Taz he is keen to meet a real Tassie devil and maybe check out MONA during his stay.

The production of ‘Potted Potter’ includes most of the major characters including the big three of Harry, Hermione and Ron while paring things down to the essentials such as the ‘love hate relationship between Harry and Voldemort’. Because of the time limits some characters unfortunately miss out, one being Professor McGonagall

although she will still be referenced in the play, as Benjamin says they aim for ‘damage limitation’.

Benjamin explains condensing the books is not as difficult as it might seem as most have a similar pattern of Harry returning to school and encountering some trouble, with the exception of Book four which, says Benjamin is a ‘more adventurous’ book than the others and offers some extra activity with ‘Quidditch’ and a’ fire breathing dragon’.

The play follows a core structure and then it is left to the various parings to add and embellish making it their own unique production.  It helps, if like Benjamin and his duo partner Jamie,  the duos are on the same wavelength.

I ask which is easier to stage, Potted Potter or the similarly succinct Shakespeare ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged’. Benjamin believes ‘Potted Potter ‘is easier to stage than ‘Shakespeare’ because all the ‘Harry Potter’ books have become so familiar in pop culture, whereas with Shakespeare most people are only familiar with the big plays not the minor works.

Oddly enough this comic duo both had more serious ambitions. Benjamin would have been a lawyer if not an actor and Jamie, well Jamie is a lawyer!

You can see ‘Potted Potter’ at Theatre Royal Tuesday 7 October to Thursday 9 October, 2014.

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Award-winning Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival official ...

Travis Tiddy, Festival Director, Leigh Styles Marketing Coordinator
23.07.14 6:22 am




The Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival is an award winning, hand crafted cultural festival held every two years in the mining town of Queenstown on Tasmania’s West Coast. Following the success of the 2012 festival, the festival returns in October 2014 appropriately themed ‘The Power of Water’ to celebrate the centenary of the Lake Margaret Power Station – Australia’s oldest working Hydro Electric station, near Queenstown.

The highlight of the West Coast winter is the official program launch and gala evening.

Date:  Saturday 30 August
Time:  7:00pm
Venue: Queenstown Memorial Hall, Orr Street, Queenstown
Tickets: Available for purchase from Wednesday 16 July at $145p.p
  Tickets available from or by telephoning the West Coast   Wilderness Railway Station in Queenstown (03 6471 0100)
Attire:  Black tie

The program launch and gala evening are a major fundraiser for the Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival. The Royal Australian Navy Band Tasmanian Detachment headlines a bumper evening of entertainment.Ticket prices include entertainment, alcohol, soft-drink and hors d’oeuvres catering.

Following last week’s announcement of the closure of the Mount Lyell Mine, Festival Director Travis Tiddy said that the Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival played an important role in the morale of the West Coast community:

The pulse of our community responds to the heartbeat of our local mining industry. The imminent mine closure and the loss of 200 local jobs will have a devastating, rippling impact upon the region.

October’s festival is of increased importance in boosting morale and providing a social and economic lift for our community. Our aim and our pledge is to excite audiences by providing money-can’t-buy connection with a place and its people; inspiring audiences with the abilities and cultural wealth of regional Tasmania. We aim to demonstrate what can be achieved through working together and through adherence to authenticity, excellence, and understanding what makes our region so special.

The best thing that we can do is work hard to give everyone a big lift this October. We’d like to welcome you to attend our festival and contribute to this experience with us.

At a time when the residents of the West Coast need an event like this, we welcome all Tasmanian’s to join us in Queenstown.

• Official Program Launch and Gala Ball:  Saturday 30 August

• Festival Weekend (More details to follow):  Friday 10 October for three days

Festival Director Travis Tiddy encouraged visitors to Queenstown to book in advance:

Our experience is that tickets for the Gala Evening do sell quickly, and accommodation on the West Coast does fill up – both for the Gala Evening in August, and also for the festival weekend in October. I encourage Tasmanian’s to come and support West Coast Tasmania and participate in an award winning, hand crafted and ‘money can’t buy’  experience that the Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival promises to deliver.

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Arts | What's On

Rocky Mountain Gardiner

Paula Xiberras
23.07.14 4:44 am


New Zealand musician Bevan Gardiner has toured Tasmania before, that time it was with Scottish songstress Isla Grant. Bevan calls Tasmania a ’ beautiful place’ and of course ‘quite close to New Zealand’.

Bevan will be visiting Tasmania in August with ‘Take Me Home’ a tribute show to the life and work of John Denver. Bevan began his love of music as a kid playing the guitar, and right from the start it was John Denver music he was playing.

Bevan’s love of John Denver’s music reached a high point when Bevan was delighted to perform in front of members of John’s family (who endorsed his tribute) at the John Denver Music Festival in Aspen Colorado.

To authenticate his tribute. Bevan lets his hair grow out and has it styled like John’s, and he also wears clothing, shirts and jeans similar to those worn by John. His voice however is a gift that needs no embellishment.

As to Bevan’s favourite John Denver song he finds it hard to choose but ‘Rocky Mountain High’ is a potential favourite with honourable mention to the love songs ‘Annie’s Song’ and ‘Perhaps Love’.

In the tribute show Bevan stresses the accuracy of the production with its addition of an audio visual display and archival footage of interviews with John’s colleagues and family, as well as footage of John himself talking about the origin and inspiration of his songs including film of his visiting.

Jacques Cousteau and his Calypso.

If he hadn’t created a career in music Bevan tells me other career choices early on were truck driver and pilot but because of a visual impairment Bevan was unable to follow through with them. Bevan supports his tour schedule of ‘Take me home’ with teaching music including the drums!

You can see Bevan performing as John Denver at the Launceston Country Club on 5th August and Wrest Point Casino on 6th August.

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Arts | What's On

Archibald portrait a worthy winner, but Wynne landscape prize a scene stealer

Andrew Frost, The Guardian
22.07.14 5:41 pm

Archibald winner ...

Wynne Prize winner ...

Portraiture prize has a deserved winner, but more interesting works belong to oft-sidelined Wynne and Sulman prizes

No one really understands the Archibald prize for portraiture. It’s an event that baffles outsiders in much the same way that the running of the bulls or chasing a wheel of cheese down a hill confuses tourists — the prize has its own logic, its own quasi-rules and its own often counter-intuitive outcomes. Don’t try to rationalise it, just go with the flow.

The painters who enter pin their hopes on finding just the right combination of a portrait subject and a convincing display of painterly craft. For those who can find it, they’ve found the $75,000 sweet spot between artistic innovation and crowd-pleasing sentimentality.

The finalists for 2014 are not that much different from most recent years with a selection of portraits of actors, politicians, sports people, patrons and some immodest artist self-portraits. Among all that, Fiona Lowry’s award winning Penelope Seidler is a logical winner, for two main reasons.

The first is that Lowry chose just the right subject for her painting: Seidler, an architect, arts patron and wife of the late Harry Seidler, is just the kind of person the judges of the Archibald — the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW — would like to honour. The second reason is that Lowry’s portrait is a bloody good painting. Basing her work on photographic studies, Lowry has applied her familiar airbrush and aerosol technique to render a ghostly image that works remarkably well in the flesh, if not so well when reproduced.

Read the full article, Guardian Culture Blog, here

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‘Make your Mark: Freedom’ opens at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts
18.07.14 4:37 pm

The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the arts in Tasmania.

It was a pleasure today to officially open an exhibition of works produced through the Make your Mark program.

Make your Mark is a youth art initiative of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, made possible with funding from Detached Cultural Organisation.

The initiative is delivered through the museum’s art education program, AccessArt, in partnership with the Glenorchy, Clarence, Hobart, Brighton and Kingborough Councils.

The aim of the project is to deliver an art program for at-risk youth aged between 13–23, outside of a formal education setting or school environment.

The Liberal Government believes involving students and young people in the arts is hugely important. Through the arts, we respect our history and celebrate our culture, all of which contributes to our identity and our future.

Using street art and working to the theme of ‘Freedom’, young people have been working in each Council area over the past few months alongside professional artists.

The participants have produced murals for public display in each Council area as well as works for an exhibition at TMAG through this process.

The exhibition at TMAG is a great recognition and celebration of the achievement and effort by all the project participants.

Through AccessArt, TMAG is leading the way in innovative art education both at the museum and out in the community through outreach initiatives and projects such as Make your Mark.

Make your Mark: Freedom is on display in the Bond Store Basement at TMAG from Saturday, 19 July until Sunday, 3 August 2014. The exhibition is open daily between 10am– 5pm.
For further information visit

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the churchie national emerging art prize

Lauren Edwards
18.07.14 9:14 am

Archer Davies, Ocean, Oil on Canvas

Alair Pembegan, Flying Fox Story Place, Acrylic on canvas

the churchie national emerging art prize
2014 Finalist Exhibition
1 August – 20 September
Griffith University Art Gallery, South Bank, Brisbane

About ‘the churchie’:

‘The churchie’ offers an inspiring glimpse into the future of Australian contemporary art and has gained a reputation for talent-spotting emerging artists.  Established in 1987 the churchie national emerging art prize is highly regarded emerging art prize dedicated to innovation and excellence across contemporary, traditional and new media genres. The annual non-acquisitive prize is an initiative of Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie), in partnership with Griffith University Art Gallery since 2010. The overall winner is awarded a $15, 000 prize sponsored by Brand+Slater Architects and two highly commended works are awarded $1,000 each. Hundreds of entries are attracted from all over Australia with a select few being chosen to exhibit at Griffith University Art Gallery, South Bank, Brisbane. 

‘the churchie’ 2014:
•      The churchie national emerging art prize official opening + prize announcement - Friday 1 August 6-8 pm, Griffith University Art Gallery, South Bank.
•      The finalists will be exhibited at the gallery for eight weeks from 1 August – 20 September 2014.
•      Alexie Glass-Kantor – Executive Director of Artspace Visual Arts Centre (ARTSPACE) Sydney, will be judging 41 artworks from 31 finalists and announcing the $15,000 overall winner. 
•      578 artworks where entered in this year’s prize from around Australia

Please find attached the invitation for finalists names, public programs and gallery times as well as artworks by 2014 finalists Archer Davies and Alair Pambegan to use for publicity.

Let me know if you require any further information, alternatively you can visit our website 

Lauren Edwards
Teacher Aide- Emerging Art
Committee Secretary
the churchie national emerging art prize

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Arts | What's On

Oh what a night, by George!

Paula Xiberras
18.07.14 8:57 am


Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing ‘Oh What A Night’ performer George Solomon. George was chatting to me from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was visiting his old neighbourhood to celebrate his birthday with his mum, brothers and sisters.

I chatted to this fellow Cancerian about his upcoming tour of Australia, the third in so many years and looking to be an annual event, such is its popularity. The show has been well received by Australian audiences even though George initially thought Aussie audiences would be reserved!

Unfortunately, due to the constrictions of performances and sound checks, George and the guys don’t get a chance to explore the cities they visit as much as they would like.

‘Oh What A Night’ is a tribute to The Four Seasons, a band gaining new fans by way of the Jersey Boys stage show and it’s recent movie adaptation.

George tells me ‘Oh What A Night’ is a’ fun show’ and the audience is ‘loving’ its mix of comedy, music and dancing.

Even people who can’t speak English appreciate the melodic, familiar quality of the songs and tell the guys so ,in their own language!.

George stresses this tribute is not a biography, with each actor playing a Four Season, so no actor gets more stage time than another and the audience is able to establish a relationship with each actor.

The show is continually evolving and freshened up by excellent research which sees not only The Four Seasons superb repertoire but has the addition of songs inspired by The Four Seasons or songs that people thought they performed.  An example of the former is the inclusion of Billy Joel’s ‘Uptown Girl’, which was a tribute to The Four Seasons.

A treat at the end of the show is when cast members meet the fans and encourage audience members to have a photo with the guys and so become ‘The Fifth season’

George has high praise for the promoters who he says treat he and the guys ‘like family’.

The show is family friendly with a lack of bad language and so may be embraced by all ages.

George himself is the triple threat plus more…he can sing, dance and act and in addition is a great comedy performer in his own right including his impersonation of Diana Ross’ (who he calls a magnificent woman) but that’s another story….. and perhaps another tour.

You can see ‘Oh What A Night’ at Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Thursday 28th August.

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Arts | What's On

Hobart to experience a more creative world 10 minutes at a time!

Ros Peck
18.07.14 8:10 am


The world’s biggest little play festival hits Hobart

Playhouse Theatre Sept 30 - Oct 11


Short + Sweet are calling all actors and anyone who has wanted to have a go to come and audition, with 30 plays in the season we need as many as we can get! 

The Short + Sweet theatre festival began in Sydney 13 years ago and their recent festival showcased 170 plays.

“Short +Sweet, Hobart is about showcasing local writers, directors + actors from all ranges of experience” says festival director Ros Peck. “The emphasis in on being involved and anyone can have a go, we’ll have loads of fun and offer support and mentorship where needed.”

Not just another one act play festival…. here’s how the season looks…

There are the ‘Top 20 plays’ which have a 4 night run,10 one week (Prog 1), 10 the next, (Prog2) and for the 10 more “out there” pieces we have a wildcard program which has 2 performances. The final night of the festival is the “GALA” comprising of the judges and people choices from all programs, ending the evening announcing the awards and giving out the prizes.

Information on the Short and Sweet festivals can be found on

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Paul Kelly Presents – The Merri Soul Sessions

17.07.14 12:18 pm


Following the recent releases of his groundbreaking song cycles, ‘Spring and Fall’ and ‘Conversations with Ghosts’, Paul Kelly is pleased to announce another innovative chapter in his long-standing career. Earlier this year, Paul assembled his touring band and an exciting group of singers to record a set of new songs as well as one old classic. The tracks were performed live in the studio by Clairy Browne, Vika and Linda Bull, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru and himself.

Dubbed ‘The Merri Soul Sessions’, the music will be released via PledgeMusic as a series of four 7-inch vinyl singles (double A-side) over six months from July 2014. This will be followed by an album in early 2015 containing all of the singles and three more songs.

Each vinyl single can be bought individually or combined in a limited edition Box Set. Only 1,000 of the 7-inch Box Sets will be manufactured. They will also be available as digital downloads. More details are available via PledgeMusic at

The first single is Keep On Coming Back For More, featuring Clairy Browne, and What You Want, featuring Vika Bull.

See below for the full schedule of dates and releases and a sneak preview of the artwork, designed by Peter Salmon-Lomas at Salmon Design.

Paul Kelly explains …
“In recent years doing band shows with Vika and Linda, Vika had been singing Sweet Guy, an old song of mine, and bringing the house down each time. I was keen to record her version and thought, naturally, that if we were going into the studio we should try and get some other songs on tape as well. I had a song in mind for Linda. I wrote a couple of songs with Dan Sultan that had a soul kind of feeling. And a couple of recent songs of mine, as yet unrecorded, came back into view. They seemed to fit well with the others. Having half a dozen songs now that were talking to each other helped me write a couple more. This is how it goes. One thing leads to another. You never quite know what’s happening ‘til you’re in the middle of it.

      I started to imagine a soul revue type record performed live in the studio with a variety of singers and the one band. I’d fallen in love with Clairy Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes’ Love Letter, the sound of it as well as the song, so invited Clairy and the producer of that record, Steve Schram, to get involved. I’d seen Kira Puru perform One Eye Open live on YouTube and thought she might be the one to nail I Don’t Know What I’d Do, a song left off ‘Spring and Fall’ because I couldn’t sing it myself yet. It needed a torch singer who could balance light and dark. Plus, I loved the way she sang with a big glass of red wine never out of her hand. She, Clairy and Steve, thankfully, all said yes. Meanwhile Vika and Linda had started singing live the two songs Dan and I had written. The stew was simmering on the stove.

    From February 17th to March 1st this year we camped in Soundpark Studios, Northcote, right by Merri Creek and recorded a song a day. Sundays off. Our general routine was to rehearse with the band in the morning, getting the song into some kind of shape sonically and piecing out a rough arrangement. The singers would come in later and take it home. We finished all the songs we had in mind a day early so I had time to write a gospel song Hasn’t It Rained as an album closer.

    The band comprises Peter Luscombe, drums and percussion; Bill McDonald, bass; Ash Naylor guitar, electric mainly; Cam Bruce, piano and organ; Vika and Linda, harmonies when they aren’t singing lead; and me on rhythm guitar. Dan Kelly guests on one song Keep On Coming Back For More.”    PK July 1, 2014

Paul Kelly presents - The Merri Soul Sessions, the full album, will be available through regular retail channels from February 2015. Prior to that, fans will have the opportunity to pre-order and receive the special collector’s editions detailed below.

A five-minute film by Andy Doherty featuring live footage with an insight into the sessions can be viewed here:

7-inch vinyl singles (available in retail outlets, iTunes and via PledgeMusic).
A series of four 7-inch vinyl records will be released, one every two months from July. Each 7-inch features two tracks from the forthcoming album and a digital download of the single.

7-inch vinyl Box Set (limited edition and available exclusively via PledgeMusic).
Fans who purchase the special collectors’ box will receive the first 7-inch single when it is released in July. Each of the subsequent 7-inch singles will be automatically mailed to them every two months thereafter. Only 1,000 Box Sets will be manufactured. Purchasers will also be entitled to a free digital download of the full album released in February 2015.

12-inch vinyl Deluxe Edition (available exclusively via PledgeMusic).
For those seeking something a little extra, the Deluxe Edition will be released in conjunction with the full album in February 2015. This will feature special packaging and exclusive extras along with a heavyweight 12-inch vinyl record and a digital download of the full album. Stay tuned to the website for more information.

‘Paul Kelly presents – The Merri Soul Sessions’ Schedule of releases

7-inch vinyl box set (limited edition available exclusively via PledgeMusic - ): from July 2014

7” Single number 1: July 2014
Keep On Coming Back For More, featuring Clairy Browne
What You Want, featuring Vika Bull

7” Single number 2:  September 2014
I Don’t Know What I’d Do, featuring Kira Puru
Thank You, featuring Paul Kelly

7” Single number 3: November 2014
Smells Like Rain, featuring Linda Bull
Don’t Let A Good Thing Go, featuring Dan Sultan

7” Single number 4: January 2015
Sweet Guy, featuring Vika Bull
Down On The Jetty, featuring Vika and Linda Bull

The Album on 12” Vinyl Deluxe, 12” Vinyl, CD and Digital: February 2015
Contains 11 tracks, including 3 never before released.

For more information about Paul Kelly presents – The Merri Soul Sessions please go to:

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Captured: Ten years of street art from Melbourne

Ursh Mos
16.07.14 1:55 pm


Melbourne is known as one of the world’s great street art capitals for its unique expressions of art on outdoor locations.

Street art includes stencils, paste-ups and murals graffiti and tagging; however many images are either removed or painted over, so photography is the only way to make the street art stay alive.

Jarek Mosiejewski creates stunning photo-based street art that explore the quirks, rebellions & statements in human existence.

Through his playful photography he exposes the ironic, humorous and serendipitous workings of daily life.

The self-taught photographer has been avidly shooting street art around the Melbourne CBD and surrounding areas for almost a decade now.

With over 3000 photos, Jarek boasts one of the largest collections of street art photography in Australia.

Jarek feels that photography democratizes street art. Not only does it make the work more accessible for the viewer, but it is a memory that the art piece once existed.

To see more, Jarek and his daughter Urszula have set up a Facebook page to showcase his street art collection here: Mos Prints : <b>HERE

Or you can view his entire folio of photography here: </b>

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Arts | What's On

Opera Australia - So Much More Than Voices by Jo Bayley

Carolyn McDowall, Muse News, thecultureconcept circle
16.07.14 1:17 pm


At The Culture Concept Circle we love arts and fashion. You can imagine how excited Jo Bayley from Fashion Elixir was to be invited to experience Opera Australia’s costume department! She went behind the scenes to discover how it all works and to talk to the creative and very dedicated team who ensure all their operas will be a memorable experience for everyone

Read more here

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Benji Tamir — Jewish International Film Festival/ JIFF Distribution
16.07.14 12:31 pm



Winner of 6 Ophir Awards (Israel’s Oscars) and the FEDEORA award for Best Film (Venice Days) is political thriller Bethlehem. A break out hit on the international film festival circuit in 2013, this debut feature film from Yuval Adler has received praise from critics globally. Bethlehem explores the complex friendship between Israeli secret service officer Razi (Tsahi Halevi), and his teenage Palestinian informant, Sanfur (Sahdi Marei). When Sanfur learns of the Israeli plan to assassinate his brother who is a senior radical Palestinian militant, he becomes increasingly conflicted. As preparations for the military strike are underway both Razi and Sanfur are forced to make choices that will irreversibly change their lives.

Co-written by Israeli director Yuval Adler, and Ali Waked, an Arab journalist who spent years in the West Bank, and based on extensive research, Bethlehem transcends perspectives, revealing the impossible situations and moral dilemmas associated with the dark and fascinating world of human intelligence.

“… Real insight into how the intelligence world works in the Middle East. The razor-sharp cutting and canny handling of tension are reminiscent of Kathryn Bigelow.” — Indie Wire

Click here to view the trailer for Bethlehem:


VIC: Cinema Nova, Classic Cinemas Elsternwick, Cameo Cinemas
SA: Trak Cinemas, Mercury Cinemas Seniors on Screen Aug 8 10:45am
TAS: State Cinema

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Arts | What's On

UNPLUGGED, a Singing Trail and exciting partnership ...

Carmen Stephens, Festival of Voices
16.07.14 7:55 am


Ripping the Festival of Voices out of its Hobart city socket and sending it soaring up the East Coast of Tasmania!

Friday 18 July – Sunday 20 July 2014

East Coast Tasmania

The Festival of Voices, in partnership with East Coast Tasmania, is proud to launch UNPLUGGED, combining scintillating, soulful music and everlasting experiences along Tasmania’s stunning east coastline over one thrilling weekend in July. Showcasing home-grown artists with the opportunity for the public to get up close and personal through entertaining workshops and sing-a-longs, UNPLUGGED presents a range of musical styles from Jazz to a capella to country, transforming the East Coast into a winter wonderland filled with local food, wine and of course, music.

“The beginning of a beautiful friendship, the Festival of Voices is thrilled to be working with East Coast Tasmania to deliver this unique series of events amidst world class scenery and hospitality. Nowhere else in Australia can locals and visitors enjoy a singing trail of this nature in such stunning locations. The best kept secret in the country, happening in our own East Coast backyard.” – Paul Kooperman, CEO Festival of Voices

The multi talented array of artists include Fiona Stewart, who has been practicing her craft as an actor, singer, songwriter and teacher of expressive arts for 30 years, and brings a French flavour to the Unplugged Premiere event; rising star, Hannah May sharing her talents with the audience through a timeless, soulful style; Kim Sellers’, performing cover songs written from the heart and sung from the heart; 18 year old, Jed Appleton delivering a relaxed, stripped back performance;  the all female vocal ensemble CONCEOL led by prize-winning VCA vocalist and east coast dweller Susannah Coleman-Brown, performing a capella repertoire in Irish, Hebrew, Latin and English; Ange Boxall performing original songs based from her album Writing Letters; Emma Anglesey focussing on beginnings and the untamed landscapes she connects with,  and Rose Ottavi-Kokkoris, who although best known in Hobart as a comedic, physical and cabaret performer – can sure sing up a country storm.

“The East Coast is spectacular over the winter months and lends itself perfectly to the UNPLUGGED concept.  We are very excited about this partnership and creating the opportunity for people to experience a truly uplifting series of events in stunning locations.  It will be magical.” – Ruth Dowty, CEO East Coast Tasmania

UNPLUGGED is a highlight of the 2014 Festival of Voices, Australia’s premier celebration of the human voice, uniting a diverse pool of extraordinary vocalists to create a festival experience like no other. In its tenth birthday year, the festival welcomes individual singers, choirs and music lovers from across Australia, as Hobart comes to life with the sound of music.

Fiona Stewart & Hannah May – Tasmanian Bushland Gardens, Buckland – Friday 18 July, 5pm
Kim Sellers & Hannah May - Piermont Retreat, Amphitheatre, Swansea - Saturday 19 July, 12pm
Conceol, Chocolate Shop Trio, Pete Cornelius + More – St Marys Community Hall, Main Street, St. Marys – Saturday 19 July, 4.30pm
Unplugged Showcase Featuring Ange Boxall & Conceol – White Sands Estate, Iron House Point – Saturday 19 July, 4pm
Rose Ottavi-Kokkoris & Jed Appleton – Devil’s Corner Cellar Door, Hazards Vineyard, Apslawn – Sunday 20 July, 12pm
Emma Anglesey – Freycinet Lodge, Coles Bay – Sunday 20 July, 3pm

More info • Facebook • Twitter

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Arts | What's On

Gold Coast musician invited to UK to record debut EP at renowned studio

Ella Fence, Ella Fence Music
16.07.14 7:52 am


Renowned UK studio invites Gold Coast musician to record debut EP… So why not add some time in Paris to work on more music with Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, REM)?

Home to the likes of Passenger, The Cure, Florence Welch, Mumford and Sons, Nick Cave, The Kooks, the list goes on… recording at Brighton Electric studio is any musician’s dream.

Singer-songwriter Ella Fence jets off to the UK in less than a month to live that dream, recording her debut EP with producer Dan Swift, who has worked with many high profile international artists including Snow Patrol.

Ella will then travel to Paris to spend time working on more music with producer Ken Stringfellow, from The Posies and REM. 

Described by audiences as a little cloud with a lot of thunder, local Gold Coaster and Queensland Conservatorium graduate Ella Fence is no fence sitter.

With performance experience spanning from Brisbane to Norway her live shows are also something to watch out for.

“I was warned about your voice and the power in it, it has that phrase people call ‘cut through’ you can’t help but pay attention when you start singing” - ABC Radio

“Ella’s raw emotion pours beautifully into her music, creating a stunning mix of vulnerability and power” - Aphra Magazine

“Ella Fence possesses the rare ability to control every atom in a room, her voice dissolving the hearts of all who hear and her delivery places an entire audience in the palm of her hand” Hayden Tee (Les Miserables).

“Deep and mesmerising Ella’s voice swoops and soars moving towards the truly exceptional, a young virtuoso who is terrifically talented, Ella will blow your mind, she is extremely proficient for one so young and definitely someone to watch out for” - Edge Radio (Hobart).

“I had Ella come up onstage and plug in her Martin and do a song of hers… with her wild, feral swooping voice, and she was, of course, brilliant” - Ken Stringfellow (REM, The Posies)

Head to and subscribe to Ella’s mailing list to be first to grab a copy when it’s released!

Ella Fence
Ella Fence Music
Want to be part of my debut EP? All you have to do is Think Positive.
Visit for more info.

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Lili of the valley

Paula Xiberras
14.07.14 11:51 pm


The name Kendall means ‘from the bright valley’ and this Lili is definitely flourishing in a bright valley.

Lili Kendall hasn’t yet visited Tasmania but is keen to, especially because it is ‘beautiful’ and has ‘great food’.  It may be not so long before Lili does get to visit as she has plans for an Australian tour next year.

Music has been part of Lili’s life as long as she can remember, and reinforced when she received a guitar for her 12th birthday. She has been writing lyrics ever since. One day hearing her playing her sister said ‘this is really good’ and so Lili realised that music was her career path.

And music by osmosis seeps into all aspects of Lili ‘s life including her school.

Lili attends a music industry college in Brisbane where the whole curriculum is infused with music, including maths and English, an example of the latter being studying ‘Blazac and the Little Chinese Seamstress’  which is explored as to what music would suit particular scenes in the novel.

Lili’s (purity) name suits her and showcases the purity of her voice and her maturity. Her song ‘Moonlight’ is about when a relationship ends and how you no longer view a person through rose coloured glasses. 

The scene where Lili swims in the pool makes us symbolically see her washing away the man from her life.

Lili has been to Nashville and calls her lifestyle ‘active, crazy’ and ‘ridiculous’ and has about 5 trips a year to LA.

You can read more about Lili and view her music at

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Emma Bett, Bett Gallery
11.07.14 5:45 pm


Bett Gallery is thrilled to welcome Brigita Ozolins to the stable. Brigita’s work examines the links between language, history, bureaucracy and identity and stems from her passion for books, words and libraries. Since 1995, Brigita has exhibited regularly in solo and group exhibitions, including completing commissions for MONA, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the State Library of Tasmania and the National Library of Latvia.  Brigita’s first exhibition with Bett Gallery is scheduled for 2016.

Read more here

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Arts | What's On

Be part of this year’s 48-Hour Tasploitation Challenge!

Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival
11.07.14 1:58 pm


Devotees and dilettantes of horror, your opportunity is here…..

Read more here

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Arts | What's On

$44,526 in Regional Arts funding announced for Tasmania

President of Tasmanian Regional Arts, Sue Baker
11.07.14 11:00 am

The Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC has announced that funding for seven projects totalling $44,526 will go to regional and rural Tasmanian communities from the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund - delivered in Tasmania by Tasmanian Regional Arts.

President of Tasmanian Regional Arts, Sue Baker is impressed with the quality and diversity of the projects proposed and funded through the program, stating that “It is inspiring that Tasmania’s artists are so active and so highly creative. In this round, the fund has supported individual artists seeking to develop projects that highlight contemporary Tasmanian arts practices, drawing on our culture and heritage to develop new narratives and projects that open the doors to communities less visible to mainstream society ”.

As all of Tasmania is considered regional under the Regional Arts Fund program guidelines, a number of southern based applicants were successful in this round. The Regional Arts Fund continues to reach out to regional locations, with projects funded in Queenstown, the West Tamar and Launceston.

Importantly, approximately 50% of all applicants to the program are new to the Regional Arts Fund, demonstrating that the arts community is alive and growing in Tasmania.

Specific projects funded in this round include:

• Aboriginal artist Julie Gough receiving funds to develop The Effect, an exhibition based on colonial impacts on indigenous cultures but developed through new media technologies;
• Queenstown’s unique heritage will be presented through the commissioning of new story telling film documentaries to be developed by Roar Film as part of the Big Stories: Small Towns project; and
• Hobart Based metal band Infernal Outcry, whose membership comprises UTAS Conservatorium of Music Students/graduates, will be commissioned to develop new music for performance and recording.

“What is pleasing is that the projects funded in this round demonstrate interesting collaborations, often forming new partnerships and new outlets for the work. While the number of grants awarded in this round is smaller than last year, their quality and diversity shone through” added Ms Baker.

The Regional Arts Fund is an Australian Government program that supports sustainable cultural development in communities across regional and remote Australia. The funding is targeted at activities that will have long term cultural, economic and social benefits for individuals and communities through the development of partnerships and cultural networks, by providing artists with professional development and employment opportunities, and by supporting arts and community development projects that provide local communities with the opportunity to participate in, and access cultural activities. The Regional Arts Fund has an emphasis on youth, disadvantaged, remote and Indigenous communities.

Major Grants

Stompin $10,000
6000 to 1 – LAUNCESTON
Stompin will investigate the consequences of the choices we make and the chance events that make us. The development of a new performance work seeks to build the creative capital of all participants involved in the process with a particular focus on mental health.                                     

Roar Film Pty Ltd                                                                 $10,000
Big Stories, Small Towns: Queenstown – QUEENSTOWN
As part of the Big Stories, Small Towns project in Queenstown and the West Coast with acclaimed Tasmanian filmmakers Roar Films, a series of digital stories will be created with Queenstown community members. The stories will reflect on shared history and experiences and explore the diversity of people and stories in the community. The project will culminate in an exhibition and screening event at the historic Paragon Cinema.

West Tamar Arts Group (WTAG)$6,026
West Tamar Arts Group will introduce a large number of residents to the Chatterbox visual arts project. Artist Ross Byers will facilitate workshops to engage primary schools and connect with school communities to ensure their culture is central to the concept of the project.

Small Grants

Infernal Outcry$5,000
Infernal Outcry Debut Album – NEW TOWN
This project will develop Infernal Outcry’s professional career as a death metal band and provide each individual musician with experience in a professional studio setting. This project is the essential next step to develop the band’s musical career.

Lorraine Biggs                                                                     $5,000
The Lighthouse Keepers Great Granddaughter Project, Arthurs Head and Rottnest Island – FREMANTLE
An artist will work on a nine week residency at the Fremantle Art Centre to produce an exhibition entitled The Lighthouse Keepers Great Granddaughter - Arthurs Head and Rottnest. An artist will research and create a series of large scale paintings and/or drawings based on the theme. 

Julie Gough                                                                       $5,000
The Effect – FITZROY
This project is a solo exhibition by Julie Gough to be held at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi from 23 Oct - 16 Nov 2014. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in Melbourne since 2007. The visual art exhibition will investigate the work of history on the present, in particular the effect of colonial legacies on personal and national identity with a focus on Tasmanian history.

Fiona Stewart                                                                             $3,500
Going into Mary Hutchinson Women’s Prison as a theatre maker, Fiona Stewart will create a show about women ‘inside’, using the prisoners’ words in monologue, dialogue and song. Audiences will be given a rare glimpse into the life of women on the inside.

Tasmanian Regional Arts provides two funding rounds per year. Round two opens 1 July and closes August 15 for projects commencing after 1 January 2015.

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Joseph Tawadros Quartet’s live performance at Studio 505

Tom Davey
11.07.14 10:55 am

You are invited to the Joseph Tawadros Quartet’s live performance at Studio 505 on Wednesday, 23rd of July.

Just back from recording in New York with some jazz heavies, 505 welcomes the double ARIA Award winning Joseph Tawadros back for another amazing night of totally new and exciting original music.
Join Tawadros to celebrate his New Album “Permission to Evaporate”, which he recorded with his trio (James Tawadros and Matt McMahon) and features Jazz legends Christian McBride and Mike Stern.

Joseph Tawadros Quartet Live at 505

Joseph Tawadros (Oud), Matt McMahon (Piano), Karl Dunnicliff (Double Bass), James Tawadros (Egyptian Percussion)
8pm, 23rd July, 2014
Studio 505
280 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills
For bookings visit
For more information visit

About the Quartet:
The Tawadros brothers are from a musical family and were brought up in environment which encouraged music and individuality. They are recognised worldwide and have performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues with celebrated artists including Zakir Hussain, John Abercrombie, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sultan Khan and Camerata Salzburg. They have been ARIA nominated a record 11 times, winning consecutively for Concerto of The Greater Sea and for Chameleons of the White Shadow in 2012 and 2013.

Rounding out the Quartet are Matt McMahon, one of Australia’s finest Jazz Pianists and Karl Dunnicliff, a double bassist of the highest calibre.
Tawadros’ Middle Eastern flavoured compositions constantly push the boundaries of melody and metre and are a rare combination of highly emotional music intertwined with boundless energy. This is true musicianship of the highest degree.

Promotional Video:
Album Teaser ‘The Greater Sea’:
Album reviews
The Australian:

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Arts | What's On


Kristyn Brennan - Ferris Davies PRM
11.07.14 10:50 am




For release – Friday, 11 July, 2014:  Due to overwhelming demand from the fans following last month’s announcement of his Wolf in the Woods National Tour Australia’s favourite young rock star, Reece Mastin has extended the tour to include new shows in Mandurah and Nowra.

The Lakes Theatre in Mandurah will play host to the tour on Saturday, 13 September, 2014 while fans in Nowra will have to wait until Saturday 4 October 2014 for the Wolf in the Woods to take over Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre. Tickets for both shows will go on sale from 2pm local time today.

The reaction to the announcement of the Wolf in the Woods tour has been staggering with the Whyalla show officially declared a sell out with more of the same result expected across the country in the weeks to come.

With over a quarter of a million fans on Facebook and Twitter each, and over 123 000 Instagram followers, Reece boasts undoubtedly one of the most loyal and dedicated fanbases in the country and as a reward to those who have supported him from the very beginning Reece recently launched the Reece Mastin Fan Club.

The Reece Mastin Fan Club, or RMFC for those in the know, is a private online community for Reece’s biggest fans, with exclusive offers, competitions and where fans can directly connect with the man himself. Last week’s first live Q+A with Reece yielded over 3500 questions from fans in just one hour!

This week’s reward to the RMFC is sure to be a popular one, Reece is offering club members the first listen to his new music with an exclusive FREE download of the track Wolf in The Woods off his much anticipated new album due out later this year.  Since Reece teased a small snippet of Wolf in The Woods on his Facebook page last month, fans have been begging for more and now the creation of RMFC has provided Reece the perfect opportunity to share the love.

Fans must go to to sign up to RMFC and access the exclusive FREE download of Wolf in The Woods and future offers and rewards.

Fresh off their Australian and US tours supporting P!nk, New York based power trio The Kin, will be bringing their constant hooks, affinity for the shock-factor and undeniable charisma back to Australia when they open all shows on the Wolf in the Woods Tour. 

Tickets for Mandurah and Nowra go on sale from 2pm today while all other shows on Wolf in the Woods Tour, are on sale NOW, excluding Whyalla which is now sold out.  See below for ticketing info.

Reece Mastin
Wolf in the Woods Tour
Special Guests: The Kin

All shows All Ages

Friday, 12 September, 2014
Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Tickets available from the venue – (08) 9370 5888 and

Saturday, 13 September, 2014 – NEW SHOW
The Lakes Theatre, Mandurah, WA
Tickets available from

Tuesday, 16 September, 2014
West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul, Vic
Tickets available from the venue - (03) 5624 2456 and 

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014
Regent Cinemas, Ballarat, Vic
Tickets available from the box office or (03) 5330 5555

Thursday, 18 September, 2014
Geelong Performing Arts Centre – Playhouse, Geelong, Vic
                        Tickets available from the venue - (03) 5225 1200 or 

Friday, 19 September, 2014
Ormond Hall, Melbourne, Vic
Tickets available from 

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014
Dubbo Regional Theatre, Dubbo, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - (02) 6801 4378 and 
Wednesday, 24 September, 2104
West Tamworth Leagues Club, Tamworth, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - (02) 6765 7588 and 

Thursday, 25 September, 2104
Glasshouse, Port Macquarie, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - (02) 6581 8888 and 

Friday, 26 September, 2014
Panthers, Newcastle, NSW
Tickets available from 

Saturday, 27 September, 2014
Castle Hill RSL, Castle Hill, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - (02) 8858 4800 and

Sunday, 28 September, 2014
Revesby Workers Club, Revesby, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - (02) 9772 2100 and and
Tuesday, 30 September, 2014
Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, Qld
Tickets available from the venue - (07) 3358 8600 and

Friday, 3 October, 2014
Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - (02) 9550 3666 and

Saturday, 4 October, 2014 – NEW SHOW
Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra, NSW
Tickets available from the venue - 1300 788 503 and
Tuesday, 7 October, 2014
The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Tickets available from

Thursday, 9 October, 2014
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mount Gambier, SA
Tickets available from the venue - (08) 8723 8741 or 

Friday, 10 October, 2014
Chaffey Theatre, Renmark, SA
Tickets available from the venue - (08) 8586 1800 and

Saturday, 11 October, 2014 – SOLD OUT
Middleback Theatre, Whyalla, SA
Tickets available from the venue – (08) 8644 7300 and

Sunday, 12 October, 2014
Northern Festival Centre – Keith Michell Theatre, Port Pirie, SA
Tickets available from the venue - (08) 8633 8500 and 
Twitter: @reecemastin - Instagram: @reecemastinofficial

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Great Scott

Paula Xiberras
10.07.14 6:10 am


Scott ‘Buddy’ Cameron loves Tasmania and tells me as we chat about how much he enjoys the scenic trip on the way from Launceston to Hobart. He appreciates our colder weather, as only someone living on the Gold Coast can.

Scott will be enjoying a bit more of that cooler weather when he brings’“Buddy The Concert Scott ‘Buddy’ Cameron’s 10th Anniversary Tour” to the Theatre Royal this July. Its reason to celebrate after a thousand performances since 2004. Scott has become the acknowledged consummate Buddy Holly tribute act. This new production as well as giving us the superb performance we are used to with Scott will in addition include some exciting audio visual elements.

With his multi-talented ability Scott says his love in performance is still as a singer/ guitarist.

Scott won an international song contest 16 years ago but no accolade comes close to actually meeting the family of Buddy Holly and to perform as his hero in front of them and indeed gaining their approval.  He says meeting Peggy Sue was more important than any critical acclaim.

Scott has been playing Buddy for so long now he says it’s hard sometimes to know where Buddy ends and Scott begins! And he actually finds himself sometimes talking off stage in that telling Texan accent.

Scott still gets his glasses authentically made by the small store in new Mexico that made Buddy Holly’s original glasses.  To his credit over all the years of playing Buddy he has only needed 5 pairs but Scott’s authenticity with Buddy Holly goes a lot deeper than performance, and the more cosmetic accessories.

Scott tells me that Larry, Buddy’s older brother, who now makes acoustic guitars, once talked to Scott about Scott’s real last name which is Skirving, Scottish and seemingly reasonably unique. Larry was amazed when he found a letter in the house from Buddy’s lawyer who was also named Skirving!

The references and coincidences become even more unbelievable in another story recounted to me by Scott about his mum and the house he grew up in. His mum found a song he wrote between the ages of 6 and ten tucked into a copy of ‘The Pokey, little Puppy’. The fact it was found in a Little Golden Book is appropriate for the golden performances of Scott. Ironically the song bears a remarkable resemblance, almost word for word to a Buddy Holly song.  Scott muses, how could he as a child have been able to write down the words of a lesser known Buddy Holly song?  I’m sure that the next time I talk to Scott he will have further mysterious co-incidences to relate.

You can see Scott in the “Buddy The Concert Scott ‘Buddy’ Cameron’s 10th Anniversary Tour” at the Theatre Royal on Saturday 26th July and Friday the 25th of July at the Country Club Launceston.

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Arts | What's On


Emily Chung
10.07.14 1:37 am


Gifted UK-based Melbourne film maker, Thomas Meadmore has announced the release of his debut, full-length music documentary, How to Lose Jobs & Alienate Girlfriends, set for a preview screening at Cinema Nova Carlton on July 19 at 10.30am and another at Splendour In The Grass Festival (in their Twilight Film Festival) as part of the Splendour Forum tent on July 27 at 5pm.

How to Lose Jobs & Alienate Girlfriends is a warts-and-all documentary about the rollercoaster creative process of two separate, independent music artists as they pursue their dreams to become professional singers and songwriters.

Directed, filmed, edited and narrated by Meadmore, the doco came to life when encouraged by his boss, Tony Jackson (TV Director, Lonely Planet) to take the plunge and make his first film.  But after just a few months behind the camera, Meadmore slams head first in to major pitfalls that see his two subjects and two closest relationships; boss, Jackson (band Speed Orange) and girlfriend/solo artist, Amanda Medica become a disaster zone, and Meadmore’s insecurities flare as he struggles to find a concrete story.  Over five years in the making, the resulting outcome of this drama is this unflinching, utterly engaging and incredibly honest documentary.

“I was just following my instincts and filming everything that felt relevant. I figured that people who were serious about becoming professional needed to be realistic and as I didn’t think either of them were realistic, I wanted to get to the truth of what motivated them. So I pushed them for their truth and called them on their contradictions… subsequently the relationships collapsed,” explains Meadmore. “Ultimately the person who I needed to question most was myself - and after all the conflict between us and several years of editing, this is what emerged as the strongest story to tell.”

The doco features interview snippets with a number of prominent Australians including multi-ARIA award winners Tim Rogers (You Am I) and Monique Brumby, world surfing champion, Tom Carroll and acclaimed actress, Bojanna Novakovic.  “I felt a connection with Amanda’s struggles to overcome self-doubt. I think that many would find a connection with this. She is endearing, a good person, searching like all of us,” says Brumby.

Meadmore has several noteworthy shorts under his belt and is a highly professional editor who shared an Emmy award (2012) with the team who made Amazing Race Australia.  He’s also tried his hand at acting, having appeared on popular Australian series, Neighbours in 2002.

View the trailer for How to Lose Jobs and Alienate Girlfriends| View a scene from How to Lose Jobs and Alienate Girlfriends

Saturday July 19 | 10.30am | Cinema Nova, Carlton | Invite only screening + Q&A with Tom Meadmore (director) (please RSVP if interested)

Sunday July 27 | 5pm | Splendour In The Grass Festival - Twilight Film Festival ‘Splendour Forum’ tent |  screening + Q&A session with Tom Meadmore (director), Tony Jackson & Aaron D’Arcy (Speed Orange) 

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The Skullbone Experiment: Exhibition of eminent artists opening at UNSW Galleries, 18 July – 3

Stephenie Cahalan, Tasmanian Land Conservancy
09.07.14 3:49 pm

Richard Wastell

Richard Wastell, Bone and Flower

Richard Wastell, Green cusion

The Skullbone Experiment
Exhibition of eminent artists opening at UNSW Galleries in Sydney
18 July – 30 August, 2014

The Skullbone Experiment is an exhibition of landscapes, sculpture, multimedia and “flights of fancy” inspired by a residency at Skullbone Plains on the wild and remote Tasmanian Central Plateau, curated by acclaimed Tasmanian artist Philip Wolfhagen and curator Catherine Wolfhagen.

In February 2013, eleven high profile Australian artists were invited by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) to explore Skullbone Plains. Over four days, they immersed themselves in the landscape and were given scientific interpretation by the TLC staff and scientists to deepen their experience of the nature and place.

Skullbone Plains is a private reserve owned and managed for biodiversity by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. In 2011 the organisation garnered philanthropic support of $23 million to purchase over 28,000 hectares in Tasmania, including Skullbone Plains. This was the largest private conservation deal in Australian history.

Participating artists are Tim Burns (TAS), Joel Crosswell (TAS), Julie Gough (TAS), Philip Hunter (VIC), Janet Laurence (NSW), Vera MÖller (VIC), Imants Tillers (NSW), Megan Walch (TAS), Richard Wastell (TAS), Philip Wolfhagen (TAS) and John Wolseley (VIC).

Mr Wolfhagen, who has created work for the exhibition, said, “It is important to explore the cultural significance of a place that is already known to be scientifically important. Each artist has ‘deposited’ another layer of meaning to this landscape thereby enriching future interpretations of the site.”

Several of the works inspired by the retreat have been included in other prestigious exhibitions. Imants Tillers’ self-portrait was short-listed in the 2013 Archibald Prize.  A Clarence Galaxia in the Ancient Sphagnum Bogs - Skullbone Plains, Tasmania, 2013 by John Wolseley will feature in the Dobell Drawing Biennale at the Art Gallery of New South Wales later in 2014, while Natural History of Sphagnum bog- Lake Ina, Tasmania, 2013 will appear in Wolseley’s survey show at National Gallery of Victoria in 2015. Tim Burns’ The Skullbone Plains, Lake Ina to Kenneth Lagoon, 2013 has now been added to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery’s collection.

Director of UNSW Galleries, Felicity Fenner, says: “Artists are able to convey the land’s beauty and uniqueness, enabling audiences to glean a sense of place from a range of viewpoints”.

“It has been an absolute honour to have artists of such vision and calibre interpret our Skullbone Plains permanent reserve. Their engagement with this landscape has been a great way to raise awareness of the long-term protection of biodiversity in Tasmania”, says Jane Hutchinson, Chief Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy.

The Skullbone Experiment will exhibit at UNSW Galleries in Sydney from 18 July – 30 August 2014.

The project was made possible through the support of the Purves Environmental Fund and the Purryburry Trust.

Tasmanian Land Conservancy
The TLC is a not for profit, non-government, registered environmental organisation which raises funds from the public to protect irreplaceable sites and rare ecosystems by buying and managing private land in Tasmania.

Skullbone Plains
Skullbone Plains covers 1,600 hectares and provides habitat for critically endangered species such as the Clarence galaxias fish and an endangered plant community named Sphagnum moss. Included in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area in 2013, the endangered Tasmanian devil, spotted-tailed quoll and Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle also call it home.

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Arts | What's On

Young and on the ‘Go’

Paula Xiberras
09.07.14 5:54 am


There is an irony in the fact that Australian entertainment royalty in John Young shares a name with a US astronaut. Both men’s careers have been focused on ‘the stars’ albeit a different definition of those stars!. I spoke to the ‘Aussie’ John Young last week about a career with the stars and the present tour celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ‘The Go Show’ which John hosted in it’s original format and will be bringing in it’s updated version to Tasmania in July.

John is a regular visitor to Tasmania, it’s a place he has visited many, many times. John says Tasmania gives him a’ mystic feeling of the early days of Australia’.

Ties with Tasmania are close, owing to the re-location of friend and colleague Ronnie Burns ( for whom he wrote ‘Smiley’ ) and Ronnie’s wife Maggie (a choreographer on YTT) to Tasmania to open Appen Hall, a place devoted to healing of children.

While he’s here, John would like to reacquaint himself with the subject of the ‘meet the meat first bite’  slogan of National Pies, well remembered from previous visits.

John migrated from the Netherlands to Australia as a youngster and says that he is definitely an Aussie, testament to this is the fact he was cheering on Australia when they played the Netherlands in the recent soccer world cup.

With five gold records to his credit, John first experienced a love of music from his mother who sang in a choir.

John fronted his first band ‘Johnny and the Strangers’ when he left school. The band was rock and roll, more ‘Rolling Stones’ than ‘The Beatles’ John says. The first hit record came at age 17 and also his first television show. John was always interested in being part of the entertainment in an ‘eclectic sense,’ because he says it’s necessary to be multi-talented to succeed in an unpredictable industry.
Another string to John’s bow is his work as a radio personality in Melbourne for over 20 years.

In 1967 John stayed in England with Barry Gibb and his wife and was learnt about song writing, which he calls the ‘4th string to his bow’. He would later go on to write ‘The Real Thing’ for Russell Morris among other hits songs like the afore mentioned ‘Smiley’.

John talks about the ethereal nature of song writing and going from the paper process to the demo and performance and then the hand over point, where producers and musicians take over and the song is no longer under your control. He remembers the week of his writing of ‘The Real Thing’ and how it evolved from a simple guitar/band song to undergo some tinkering by Molly. He remembers crying at the mammoth 7 minute songs completion and his happiness at seeing Molly keep the song’s integrity with some skilful additions.

It is perhaps ‘Young Talent Time’  which holds a special place in John’s heart and for which John is most well-known. Young Talent Times 19 years of sustained excellence was rewarded with a Logie and it should be mentioned that John is the only person to be inducted in both the ARIA and Logie hall of fame.
John fondly remembers Young Talent Time as a mix between an Aussie kids show and ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’.

John still stays in touch with many of the original team, some of whom like Jane Scali and Tina Arena he calls ‘mates’.  Vince Deltito works in Entertainment Management, Greg Miles who was a regular team member began writing music, Philip Gould lives in London and has performed in 42nd street, Nicky Cooper has worked in acting behind the scenes as a writer.

Music continues to amaze John for instance the fact that Mozart before writing a symphony could visualise it all in his head before writing it down.
John is interested in the impact of music on people, an example being the part classical music plays in mathematical development.
A case in point being the evolution of the career of someone he admires, Paul Keating, from his early work in the rock and roll group ‘The Ramrods’, Paul Keating went on to become a convert to classical music, coinciding with his career as treasurer.

John has a theory that music is integral to us from birth evidenced by the fact that the sound of the heartbeat in utero resembles the beat of rock and roll music!

Although he’s a fan of and watches music talent shows such as ‘The Voice’, ‘X-Factor’(but not the ‘cattle calls’), Spicks and Specks’ and ‘RocKwiz ’ he is not comfortable with comments on contestants personal appearances, a thing he would never do. John champions the way ‘Young Talent Time’  spent mentoring a child for six or seven years.

John’s latest project is being producer to Colleen Hewett’s new album ‘Blood and Bones’ which will be half covers and half original songs, some written by John.

For John the saying ‘Art is Close to Your Heart’ has been his mantra ever since he was 14 years old and perhaps always will be even if the creative arts may leave one open to being hurt.

You can see John Young and the ‘Go Show’  Golden Anniversary concert gang including, The Masters Apprentices, Mixtures, Ronnie Burns, Normie Rowe, Ross D Wylie, Ronnie Charles, Tony Worsley and Colleen Hewett at Wrest Point Casino on Saturday 26 July

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Arts | What's On

Festival of Voices’ Spectacular Start

Lindsay Tuffin
06.07.14 9:15 am

*Pic: Ben Lee lights it up ...


It began quite spectacularly last night ... and is set to serenade Tassie for the next couple of weeks.

The City Hall was spread with tables, plonked in the middle of each a most adequate bubbles to oil invited guests; with standing room only up the back.

They loved headliner Ben Lee and generously applauded the Lord Mayor’s opening address.

Don’t miss it ... after all it must be at least a fortnight since the wondrous spectacle of Dark MOFO lit the Hobart skies ...

Here’s where to go to book:

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Arts | What's On

Will Hodgman: The Festival of Voices Secured

Will Hodgman, Premier Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events
04.07.14 10:47 am

The Liberal Government is committed to supporting our competitive strengths such as tourism.

Our plan is to grow the number of visitors to Tasmania to 1.5 million by 2020, which the industry says will create up to 8,000 new jobs.

As part of our plan we will provide $350,000 a year, over three years to ensure the Festival of Voices, which is unique to Australia, continues until 2017.

Now in its 10th year, the Festival of Voices has given Tasmania a much needed voice during the traditionally quieter winter months.

The popularity of the festival is continuing to rise, with more than 23,000 people attending last year’s events, compared to just over 19,000 in 2012.

The festival is an important drawcard for national and international visitors, who account for one in four ticket-holders.

This year’s event will start tonight and run until July 13, offering a 10-day format for a second consecutive year.

I congratulate the festival’s organisers on what is an exciting calendar of events and workshops that are sure to be a success.

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TONIGHT: Festival of Voices Opening Night at Voicebox

Carmen Stephens, Festival of Voices
04.07.14 6:35 am


Friday 4 July | Arrive by 5.45pm | Hobart City Hall | Standing room only

Be the first to experience what’s on offer during this year’s Festival.



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Arts | What's On

Vanessa Goodwin: 2015 Artist in Residence Program

Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts
03.07.14 5:38 pm

The Liberal Government is a strong supporter of the arts in Tasmania.

The Artist in Residence program, a partnership between arts@work and the Australia Council for the Arts, is an innovative program taking Tasmanian artists into schools to work with our next generation of artists.

arts@work is now calling for applications for the 2015 Artist in Residence (AIR) program from professional Tasmanian artists across all art forms.

Up to seven residencies will be offered for artists to work with year 11 and 12 students in Department of Education colleges and independent schools across the state.

Artists will undertake a 30 day residency between February and July 2015. Artists will also be offered the opportunity to work with an artistic mentor to assist them in their professional practice.

The Tasmanian AIR program is recognised nationally and internationally as an innovative program offering professional development for artists whilst contributing to arts learning for students and staff in Tasmanian schools and colleges.

The program offers young people insights into professional arts careers and encourages future creators within the cultural and creative industries.

In 2014, eight artists whose work spanned the fields of music composition, bio-art, contemporary ceramics, drawing and multi discipline practice, took part in the AIR program.

Applications for the 2015 AIR program close on 8 August 2014. The application toolkit can be downloaded from

For information please contact Wendy Morrow, Professional Development Officer on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 03 6165 6665.

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It’s the Festival of Voices ...

Carmen Stephens, Festival of Voices
03.07.14 5:27 pm


Australia’s premier celebration of the human voice, The Festival of Voices, launches a stunning line-up of national and international musicians tomorrow (this Friday 4 July) with Festival Opening Night at VOICEBOX.

From 6pm, VIPs including The Hon. Will Hodgman, Lord Mayor Damon Thomas, Festival partners, local businesses and artists will be treated to an exclusive taste of what’s to come across the Festival of Voices’ scintillating 10-day program, with performances by ARIA Award-winning Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee, Allison Farrow and Clare Dawson.

The opening night spectacular kicks off at 7.30pm with a concert performance from JOEY ARIAS (SOLD OUT), a goddess of New York’s downtown performance scene for over thirty years and a bona fide cabaret icon, performance and drag artist, whose numerous claims to fame include starring as the Mistress of Seduction in Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity”. At 9pm comes incredible Voicebox curator and award-winning cabaret artist KIM SMITH reimagining Weimar-era composers such as Friedrich Hollaender and Kurt Weill alongside pop divas like Kylie Minogue. At 10.30pm, the night is topped off with the seductive, rugged voice of Australian music legend TEX PERKINS (SOLD OUT) teaming up with the majestic guitar of great CHARLIE OWEN for one late night of brooding rock and soothing ballads. Tex will perform his “Song for Tasmania”, composed for the Festival of Voices 2014.

CEO Paul Kooperman said, “We’re thrilled to present such a feast of talent for the Festival of Voices’ opening night! What a way to open the Festival’s 10th anniversary program as, across July, it transforms Hobart into a singing city, capturing the hearts of Australian music lovers.”

Across the ten days of the festival, Voicebox’s edgy, contemporary program features an array of unmissable, world-renowned artists including New York’s riotous ERIN MARKEY, American operatic tenor WILL FERGUSON and Australia’s genre-bending ‘kamikaze cabaret’ diva MEOW MEOW. They join other esteemed international stars of the festival such as Tennessee gospel great ERIC DOZIER, British choral conductor DAVID LAWRENCE, and from the US, the electric five-piece and contemporary a cappella champions THE EXCHANGE.

In 2014, the Festival continues to grow as it delivers a glorious program of over 143 performances and public events, including 53 pop-up concerts and – uniquely – workshops run by the artists, with a record of nearly 400 participants taking part in the Major Workshop Program. With ticket sales through the roof in 2014, the Festival welcomes over 165 choristers to its International Choral Program and expects at least 25,000 guests to attend.

Lord Mayor Alderman Damon Thomas said, “Hobart’s winter experience sets us apart from any other city in Australia. The Festival of Voices is clearly here to stay as we join to celebrate its tenth anniversary. I am always delighted to see people in our community and visitors from overseas and interstate embrace our winter and engage in one of Australia’s most inspirational festivals which helps make our city unique, vibrant and absolutely memorable”.

The Festival of Voices unites a diverse pool of extraordinary vocalists from across Australia and the world to create a festival experience like no other, as Hobart comes alive with the sound of music, warming up the winter through the joyous power of song.

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Arts | What's On