Golden Gilbert

Paula Xiberras
18.02.18 7:20 am


In the person of Irish musician Gilbert O’Sullivan we have the creative powers of his namesakes, musical duo W.S. Gilbert (wordsmith) and Arthur Sullivan (composer) all together in one composer and performer.

From the comic opera of Gilbert O’Sullivan to the pop of Gilbert O’Sullivan, Tasmania is in for a treat as I discovered in speaking to Gilbert recently on the topic of his golden anniversary tour.

Gilbert tells me one of the things he loves about touring is discovering new places and he’s really excited about visiting and discovering Tasmania for the first time.

He may have chosen music as a career but Gilbert began his creativity in the visual arts and continues to use those visual artistic skills in his hands on approach to his album cover designs. While the visual arts are a talent and something he enjoys, he tells me the thing he enjoys the most is writing songs and its song writing that takes up with painting taking the back seat for now. Gilbert says perhaps when he isn’t so busy in his professional life he may retrieve a canvas and paint again!. Simple and essential pleasures like walking the dog round out Gilbert’s day.

Right now most of that day, five days a week is spent in the song writing process, sitting at the piano and beginning with a melody. The next stage sees him put aside unfinished melodies and take the finished ones forward to the lyric stage. The process is repeated until he completes an album of 12 songs. Gilbert tells me he operates on the system of the three ‘r’s’ ‘Write. Record. Relax!’

One of Gilberts most loved songs is ‘Clare’ written about his manager’s daughter as a thank you for all the family had done in supporting him.

Like most musicians Gilbert’s songs may resonate with audiences for different and personal reasons. Gilbert welcomes the idea of people identifying his songs to events and experiences in their own lives. It’s being faced with quite different interpretations of his songs is the kind of the unpredictability that delights Gilbert.

Gilbert will appear in Tasmania at the Wrest Point Casino on Wednesday 14 March.

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Carr, driving to Tasmania

Paula Xiberras
17.02.18 5:04 am


Jimmy Carr is bringing his ‘The best of, ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour’ to Australia (which included Western Australia and next week’s dates in Tasmania). A celebration of his fifteen years of stand up joke telling.

Jimmy is well known for his unique laugh, his darker humour and ability to involve himself with hecklers.

The Carr family originate from Limerick, Ireland and continued to keep Kildee and Limerick ties even after settling in the UK.

Jimmy proved himself to be academically gifted gaining a degree in Social Sciences and Political Science at university. In the mid – nineties he found himself working in an office marketing job for an oil company, which only left him, he tells me, feeling ‘sad’.

He attempted to inject some humour into his work life by taking on stand up gigs because he says ‘laughter is the shortest distance between people’. Stand up may be Jimmy’s passion but he has also proven himself a skilled TV presenter and actor and has appeared in an eclectic mix of TV shows, too many to name but some familiar to Australian viewers include ‘QI’ and ‘Top Gear’.

I spoke to Jimmy recently and he told me of his love for Australia because the people are ‘friendly’ and informed me how he enjoys reading about the history of the places he visits so he can put local references into his shows. He is very excited to be visiting Tasmania for the first time.

Jimmy believes everyone is funny but commitment makes a comedian. Jimmy is not interested in being one of those comedians who ‘open up with their own storytelling’ but instead is an ‘old fashioned comedian’ who specialises in jokes. Sometimes in the form of haiku’s!

His jokes are testament to his intelligence. They are ‘short, edgy and punchy’ including a great deal of word play that display his breadth of command of the English language.

Although Jimmy sites Billy Connelly and Spike Milligan as influences, when asked who is his favourite comedian he says, as a comedian of his status should ’me’.

Jimmy plays Tasmania on the following dates:

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 8pm Princess Theatre Launceston

Thursday, 22 February 2018 8pm Wrest Point Entertainment Centre

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Hobart multi-discipline artist Caitlin Fargher announced as ...

Natasha Newman
15.02.18 4:01 pm

... the Salamanca Arts Centre & Constance ARI Artist/Curator Project recipient for 2018


Constance ARI and Salamanca Arts Centre have joined forces to give one early-career artist or artistic collaboration the opportunity to develop a multi-site curatorial project. The project will enable the selected artist to explore their own artistic endeavours through the creation of curatorial discussion between their own work and the work of others, enabling examination of their own practice in new ways. The project aims to develop the hybrid skill-set of the Artist-Curator, and to highlight the importance of this practice within artist-run initiatives.

Selected Artist:

Caitlin Fargher is a multi-disciplinary artist, specialising in sculpture, textiles, installation and filmmaking. Graduating with Honours in Fine Arts at UNSW Art and Design in 2017, she is now establishing herself within the Hobart and Sydney art communities.

Her practice has a primary interest in the environment, working through ideas of the Anthropocene, climate change and decolonisation. Her recent work has engaged with the slippage between white-settler histories and industries upon the landscape, forcing a necessary conversation between materials, sites and the studio.

She aims to decolonize her practice-led research by uncovering the dark histories that are stuck to the materials and making practices she employs.

“I am really excited to have been chosen for this project, it is a great opportunity for me to begin my curatorial practice and further examine colonial and environmental themes through creative output.
As a creative, curation offers me a different expressive form to examine topics that are pertinent socially and historically within my personal environment.”

Caitlin Fargher, Artist-Curator project recipient 15.02.2018

A word from Salamanca Arts Centre:

“Salamanca Arts Centre’s stated Purpose is to Enrich Communities through Contemporary Arts Practice, and we work to use the Centre’s Buildings and other resouces ethically, efficiently and creatively.

The Artist-Curator Program is a recent initaitive of Salamanca Arts Centre and is consistent with our new way of reaching out to a diverse array of artists and other arts workers. This Partnership with Constance ARI enables us both to invest our energy and imagination into developing a valuable opportunity for an aspiring curator to work with and respond imaginatively to SAC’s traditional arts spaces, as well as to the public and behind the scenes locations within the Arts Centre.

I congratulate Caitlyn Fargher, the 2018 Artist-Curator Recipient, and commend her determination and preparedness to take risks as she develops her career as a curator.”

Joe Bugden, CEO Salamanca Arts Centre 15.02.2018

A word from from Constance ARI:

We are really excited to be launching the first ever Artist/Curator project with Salamanca Arts Centre. We were very impressed by the calibre of the applications received and it was a tough decision to choose just one participant. Saying this we were very taken by Caitlins application, her commitment to her subject matter and her responsive vision to the spaces.

I am looking forward to being a part of what is a new and exciting project that shows the strength and direction of both organisations.

Hobart is a city full of creative potential, this project is a conduit to bring this out.

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MONA: Fabien Giraud & Raphael Siboni

15.02.18 1:11 pm


An exhibition in two parts, recounting a history of technology: from the death of animal gods in 1542, to the extinction of the sun in 7231.

Opening 28 February 2018

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Jazz in the Yard

14.02.18 5:40 pm

This Sunday February 18th, the Hobart Penitentiary is hosting their second ‘Jazz in the Yard’ event with the Django’s Tiger Quintet, a popular local jazz band who play swinging gypsy jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt.

This family-friendly free event will be held in the exercise yard of the old Penitentiary on the corner of Brisbane and Campbell Streets from 3.30pm until 6.30pm, with a large variety of drinks available for purchase and the Taco Taco truck serving delicious Mexican street food.

The first of these events was a huge success with thousands of people registering interest on social media, excited to see the unique space utilised in a new and exciting way. This second event will be ticketed to avoid people missing out on tickets, tickets are available online via or on the door subject to availability.

The Hobart Penitentiary Chapel was the dark heart of the convict system in Tasmania. Behind the prison walls, 55,000 men ate, prayed, slept and were punished. The heritage site still boasts intact supreme courtrooms, underground tunnels, solitary cells, exercise yard, chapel and still-working gallows.


WHEN Sunday 18th February, 3.30pm – 6.30pm
WHERE Hobart Convict Penitentiary – Cnr Brisbane and Campbell Streets, Hobart
WHAT Jazz in the Yard – Free jazz, food, and drinks in the old prison exercise yard!

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A Tasmanian Requiem ... Presented by Gap In the Fence ...

Frances Butler
14.02.18 5:09 am

Jim Everett ... All portraits created by Phillip England, Tasmanian Tintype ...

A Tasmanian Requiem is a concert Requiem composed by Helen Thomson, with text by Greg Lehman, with Jim Everett/puralia meenamatta and Frances Butler, with filmic response by Julie Gough and produced by Frances Butler/Gap In The Fence.


The work is a 90-minute performance (no interval) by two choirs: an eight-voice vocal ensemble and the Island Brass Quintet, under the musical direction of Gary Wain (Principal Percussionist, TSO).

The composition is separated into nine movements loosely based on the Requiem Mass, with libretto triangulated in English, Latin and Tasmanian Aboriginal language, and accompanied by film projection. The production premieres at the Theatre Royal, Hobart in mid-April 2018.


The project aims to create a uniquely Tasmanian audio and visual work in the format of a Requiem, employing artists and arts-workers of the highest calibre to collaborate in a dialogue of voice, instrumentation and imagery.


There is an acknowledged need for a conversation to begin between all Tasmanians, in order to grieve and heal from the wrongs of the past. A Tasmanian Requiem will commemorate the irretrievable loss of innocence and understanding of place, which is quietly mourned on a daily basis by the descendants of those who fought the ‘Black War’, and all of us who live with its legacies.


A Tasmanian Requiem is an inclusive and collaborative production. It has been created with the purpose of acknowledging the wrongs of the Black War and the ongoing denial of the original custodians of the island now known as Tasmania. In its limited way, the Production attempts to atone for those wrongs and to open hearts and minds to acknowledge and respect Aboriginal culture as in integral element of contemporary Tasmanian life. In so far as the Production aims to respect and acknowledge Aboriginal people in the context of the actuality of colonisation of this island, it is also a production that commits itself to engaging with the reality of this story as a shared history. This means that care, respect and acknowledgement should also be shown to the cultural identities of all participants.

Creative participants and performers have therefore been engaged to bring to the Production a standard of excellence in their field of expertise and professionalism that is crucial to the successful outcome of this Production – which is creatively risky and innovative.

Artistic processes

The libretto has been generated as a corollary to the traditional Latin Requiem text, with two additional languages – English and Tasmanian Aboriginal. This “triangulation” of language serves to highlight the ancient/modern-ness of the reclaimed language of a still-vibrant ancient culture, by stark contrast with Latin representing ossified European power structures, and English representing the contemporary, common language in which the dialogue can begin. The writers’ diverse input varies the textual perspective and simultaneously a communal call to understanding, acknowledgement and atonement.

Using these textual elements, emerging composer Helen Thomson will create a full Requiem mass for concert performance by the ensemble and quintet in various combinations, each of which will enable a particular timbre of “call and response”. This asking, answering, repeating, changing and shifting texture evokes the dialogue we hope the Requiem will help to generate.

Dr Julie Gough is a Tasmanian installation artist and sculptor, and curator of international repute whose work will respond to the textual elements and provide visual ‘clues’ through film projection. It will represent an opportunity for Tasmanian audiences to engage with this compelling material as a unique, challenging, but always beautiful, experience.

Confirmed Performers

Musical Director: Gary Wain (TSO)
Musicians (the Island Brass Quintet):
Yoram Levy (TSO Principal Trumpet)
Glenn Schultz, Trumpet
Mandy Parsons, French horn
David Robins (TSO Trombone)
Tim Jones (TSO Principal Tuba)
Classical voices:
Helen Thomson (Soprano)
Amelia Jones (Soprano)
Lotte-Betts Dean (Mezzo-soprano)
Tom Buckmaster (Tenor)
Stephen Grant (Bass)
Contemporary voices:
Madelena Andersen-Ward
Dewayne Everettsmith
Zoy Frangos

Premiere Season

The 90-minute work without interval will premiere at the Theatre Royal on 13 April 2018 for a short season (12-14 April) including evening and matinee public performances, and school-only matinees (maximum possible 6 performances).

Community Support

The Production has worked directly with members of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in respectful creative collaboration.

Partnerships & Support

Financial support has been obtained to date from:
Arts Tasmania - Artist Investment Program (Development & Delivery)
Australia Council - Arts Projects For Individuals and Groups (Music)
Gap In The Fence (Frances Butler) – Executive Producer

We are working with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to ensure the availability of their players for the production, and with LINC Tasmania to access archival film footage.

We are also working in partnership with Michael Gissing (Digital City Studios) in the production of a documentary of this project and for filming the performance.

Project Stages:

Stage 1 – Creative Development Libretto - March 2015–April 2017
Score - June-October 2017
Visuals - July 2017-February 2018
Stage 2 – Production/Rehearsals November 2017-April 2018
Stage 3 – Presentation   April 2018


Venue:  Theatre Royal, Hobart


World Premiere: Fri 13 April, 2018 at 7:30pm
Matinee: Sat 14 April, 2018 at 2pm
Final Performance: Sat 14 April, 2018 at 7:30pm
Schools Performances: for more information contact the Theatre Royal.

Duration: 1.5 hours (no interval)

Patrons’ advice: References to deceased Aboriginal people.
Recommended for 15 years+ (Adult themes - descriptions of violence)

Tickets:  $45-$90
Tickets will be available for purchase at the Theatre Royal box office after 11 November, 2017.

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Virtuosi Tasmania: Harp, Trombone, Strings

Virtuosi Tasmania
13.02.18 3:39 pm


Our next concert repertoire will include Albinoni Adagio arr for trombone and strings; Handel Concerto for Harp Op 4 No 6 and Beethoven String Quartet No 10 Op 74 ‘Harp Quartet’ + more.

Learn more here

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Devonport Regional Gallery: Twilight Talk

Devonport Regional Gallery
13.02.18 6:02 am


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Paving Path to Career in Sculpture

Paula Xiberras
12.02.18 2:21 pm


Ben Tolhurst still possesses the first brick he carved. I recently spoke to Ben about his sculpture of Presentation founder, Nano Nagle for St Mary’s College in Hobart.

It was while Ben was paving a brick path at his mother- in- law’s house he searched around to find an implement to cut the brick, or specifically a ‘diamond blade’ or ‘angle grinder’. He began to use these implements to carve symbols on his preferred medium of Tasmanian bluestone (the commercial name for dolerite in Tasmania and which incidentally Ben tells me, can wreak havoc on tools!) before moving on to do work in relief and finally three dimensional sculpture.

Even though he began a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Ben decided university wasn’t for him. With the help of his mentor in South Australia he became a self-taught sculptor.

Before embarking on full time sculpture, Ben had an eclectic career, including working as a deck hand on cray boats and with people with disabilities. His work took him from Canada to New Jersey before finally settling in Tasmania, Ben believes his previous hard physical work has given him an advantage in providing him with the strength to handle what is sometimes 4 tonne of stone!


Ben was recently commissioned by St Marys College to create a statue of Presentation Sister founder Nano Nagle, a woman once voted Irelands greatest and their women of the millennium.

Venerable Honoria Nagle was lovingly known as Nano. Born in County Cork, Ireland into prosperity, the young Nano couldn’t reconcile her life of privilege with the poverty around her. After seeing poor people seeking refuge in a church. Nano was encouraged and inspired to educate the poor although she went further and educated adults as well as children and additionally tended the elderly and infirm in their homes when her day work was done. This after hours work resulted in Nano being given the moniker ‘the lady of the lamp’ and this feature is illustrated in the finished sculpture,

To create a representation of Nano Ben required the school to select a student to pose in silhouette wearing the clothing of the time. Ben says having a living model is important to the process of catching movement in sculpture.

Nano went on to found her community of workers, the religious order, The Sisters of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary or more succinctly, the Presentation Sisters. While the order began providing education to the poor of Ireland it branched out worldwide, including to Tasmania, Australia. Ben has created a magnificent monument to honour Honoria.


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Bett Gallery: BLACK

Bett Gallery
09.02.18 6:21 pm


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Operatic thriller Tosca takes over the Big Screen

Amy Owen
09.02.18 9:52 am


Continuing its stellar program in 2018,  Event & Village Cinemas in partnership with Trafalgar Releasing will exclusively screen Tosca next month at 17 cinemas as part of the Royal Opera House 2017/18 Live Cinema Season (10, 11, and 14 March).

Featuring filmed performances from the world-renowned Royal Opera House in London, the program presents the very best opera and ballet from the iconic venue, captured in jaw-dropping detail for Australian audiences to enjoy as if they were there themselves.

Drama, passion and fabulous music take centre stage in Puccini’s operatic thriller Tosca. With a star cast, Jonathan Kent’s enthralling production captures the dangerous political turbulence of Rome in 1800, featuring police chief Scarpia, one of opera’s most malevolent villains.

Participating Event Cinemas include:

George Street

Cairns City
Pacific Fair
Toowoomba Strand


Capitol Manuka

Gold Class Sessions are available at the Wednesday screening dates at participating locations.

Participating Village Cinemas include:


Screening Type Date
Tosca Opera 10, 11 and 14 March

For tickets and further information visit and

Adult - $20
Concession - $18

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takayna niparana - exhibition opening this Friday

Vica Bayley, Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc.
09.02.18 9:19 am


Dear all,

The exhibition showcases a special collaboration between the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the Wilderness Society on the takayna coast, and the ongoing campaign to protect this cultural landscape from destructive 4WD tracks.

Please join us this Friday for a one-day-only photographic exhibition. From Saturday, this exhibition will be hosted by 25 galleries and other venues around the state (one piece each and a campaign spiel) before being reconstituted in Launcestion for the last week of the election campaign.

Speakers will Include Nala Mansell, Sharnie Everett and Vica Bayley, with music by Kartanya Maynard.

In case you missed it, please see here a recently launched TV and social media ad campaign that calls out the Premier’s destructive plan to expand 4WD tracks on the takayna coast. Please share it around.

We hope to see you there.

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Devonport Regional Gallery: February 2018 newsletter

Devonport Regional Gallery
08.02.18 6:25 am


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Moonah Arts Centre: February newsletter ...

Moonah Arts Centre
08.02.18 6:22 am


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Despard Gallery: Valentine’s Day ...

Despard Gallery
07.02.18 5:20 pm

Summer of Love… We have dedicated an entire wall here at Despard to the person you love. 

More here

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Moonah Arts Centre: What’s on at MAC

Moonah Arts Centre
07.02.18 5:14 pm


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Devonport Regional Gallery: Upcoming Exhibitions

Devonport Regional Gallery
07.02.18 2:37 pm

Image: Mike Singe, 42 Minute Carbon Capture and Storage / Oryctolagus Cuniculus Celebrates 400ppm, 2017, Impure carbon (soot) on plywood.


Carbon Capture and Storage / Celebrating 400ppm
Mike Singe
24 February –  15 April 2018
Opening Friday 23 February, 6 pm

The Devonport Regional Gallery’s Little Gallery Project Space will highlight Tasmanian artist, Mike Singe with his exhibition Carbon Capture and Storage / Celebrating 400ppm, opening Friday 23 February, 6 pm.

Celebrating 400ppm is a showcase of a small selection of works from an ongoing series of soot drawings. In a futile attempt to find a positive aspect to climate change, the exhibition features animals that are likely to benefit from a warming planet.

“Singe’s work has been developed from the research he undertook for his Masters’ degree, which he completed in 2011. He is making a direct link between climate change and the quality of the air that surrounds us all.” Said Gallery Curator Erin Wilson.

The outcome of this research was the development of a sculptures that employs energy and air as key materials in direct response to climate change. The resulting works explore the relationship between energy use and the earth’s atmosphere.

“One component of the exhibition is a series of relief plaster carvings of canaries. The depiction of canaries references the use of this bird as air monitors in the mining industry, a practice that was only completely phased out as late as in the 1990s.”

The Little Gallery Project Space is available to emerging and early career contemporary Tasmanian artists and promotes experimentation in 2D and 3D art, critical thinking and engaging concepts.


National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017
24 February – 15 April 2018

Opening Friday 23 February, 6 pm
Guest Speaker: Joanna Gilmour, Curator, National Portrait Gallery

Devonport Regional Gallery’s second exhibition for 2018 features works selected from a national field of entries, titled National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017, which opens on Friday 23 February, 6 pm.
In its annual mix of drama, tenderness, banality, gravity and zaniness the National Photographic Portrait Prize expresses Australia in its vigorous variety. This exhibition is comprised of a selection of works reflecting the distinctive vision of aspiring and professional Australian portrait photographers.

Most years, there is variety of portraits styles is ranging from the photographs where the subject poses against a plain backdrop to images seething with details that reinforces the story of the sitter. Other photographs give sense of place by portraying a subject in a location in which they live or work.

The winner of the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017, was Gary Grealy for his portrait Richard Morecroft and Alison Mackay.

Grealy believes his portrait of Morecroft and Mackay is reflective of his inspiration to pursue the field of portrait photography: “When I began making portraits of artists in the 90s, the thrill of entering the domain of creativity filled me with excitement, and I must admit a little envy at the talent I saw.

“I began making portraits of artists for no other reason than the love of art. The National Photographic Portrait Prize gave me a purpose to continue to make portraits of artists, gallery directors and philanthropists, and as a result my portraits have been exhibited eight times in the ten-year history of the prize.”

For the first time ever, the Portrait Gallery awarded two finalists the title of Highly Commended: John Benavente for his portrait titled Renaissance Rose, and Brett Canet-Gibson for his portrait Mastura.

Artists: Alana Holmberg, Alex Frayne, Anu Kumar, Brett Canet-Gibson, Brian Cassey, Charlie White, Chase Middleton, Cherine Fahd, Chris Budgeon, Chrissie Hall, Christopher Pearce, CJ Taylor, Daniel Sponiar, David Knight, David Darcy, Elke Meitzel, Fiona Morris, Gary Grealy, Gino Zardo, Greg Nelson, Ingvar Kenne, Jo Cripps, John Benavente, John McCrae, Jon Reid, Joseph Brennan, Kellie Leczinska (Robertson), Lyndal Irons, Loyd Harvey, Mark Stanjo, Millie Brown, Natalie Ord, Nic Duncan, Nic Walker, Noah Thompson, Patrick Boland, Peter McConchie, Philip Myers, Robyn MacRae, Spencer Harvey, Steve Wise, Steven Lloyd, Terry Hartin, Tobias Titz, Tristan Still & Zelko Nedic.

This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.

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The Culture Concept Circle: New York Botanical Garden Spring, 2018

Carolyn McDowall, the Culture Concept Circle
07.02.18 10:02 am


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Delightful Dublin Diva

Paula Xiberras
07.02.18 5:20 am


Eabha (pronounced A-va) McMahon, musician from Celtic Woman, tells me she is helping out at her brother’s cafe as he recovers from the flu. It’s hardly surprising that flu is rampant with Ireland’s snowy and rainy winter. Eabha says the looming Australian tour couldn’t be at a more opportune time to get some relief from the cold and some ‘chilling’ of a different kind.

Last time Eabha was in Australia she recalls the girls visit to the Sydney Opera House, including dining in its restaurant. This time Eabha hopes to get in a visit to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. With Irish family in Australia, Eabha has a great appreciation of Australians, who, she says remind her of the Irish with their ‘friendliness and humour’. Of Tasmania she tells me as a child she always loved the Tasmanian devil cartoons and would love to visit his homeland!

Speaking of homelands Eahba’s role in Celtic Woman allows her to showcase the traditional Irish component that the girls want to present to the world. It’s especially important to Eabha whose life has been steeped in traditional Irish culture including speaking Irish as a first language and attending an Irish school. Eabha didn’t speak English until she was six years old. The Irish language continues to be a huge part of her life.

Eabha’s musical journey began at school when she was involved in musical presentations at her Wicklow school. It was years after she finished school that she took up the chance of putting one of her original songs ‘Just cry’ up on you tube. An old school friend saw the video, a friend who happened to be the son of one of the directors of the Celtic Woman musical group. Not long after she became known to the group, Eabha was given the offer to become a member and so began her hard earned fairytale.

In her time as a professional musician one of the most useful lessons she has learned came to her by way of author and songwriter Brendan Graham , who told her that when you write or perform music always keep it open, don’t define what a song is about so people can bring their own story to the music just as Eabha and her fellow band members each have their own individual interpretation of the song Danny Boy..

Graduating with a degree in human rights Eabha has worked on human rights issues in Mongolia for four months and in Vietnam with Christine Nobles foundation, for whom she is a director. As she explains to me, she is in the unique position of being able to use her music to supplement her work in human rights. Music has the unique ability to transcend and connects with all countries, cultures and belief systems and spread the message of ‘love, peace and unity’.

Eabha is happy in her role with Celtic Woman as she also pursues her solo music with an album out this year. She demonstrated storytelling skills early telling stories to her family. Nowadays, Eabha’s storytelling abilities continue, she often wakes in the middle of the night to race downstairs with a song idea in her head that she needs to transfer to the piano, where she might be found still working into the early hours.

The delightful Dublin diva has some words of encouragement for those who might have dreams like hers. She says don’t be afraid to take chances and to ‘trust your gut’ and as the Irish say ‘give it socks!’

You can see Eabha McMahon perform as part of Celtic Woman’s ‘Voices of Angels’ Australian tour at the following dates and venues ...

  07 Feb ‘18 Convention Centre Brisbane  
  09 Feb ‘18 Darling Harbour Theatre Sydney  
11 Feb ‘18 Civic Theatre Newcastle  
  12 Feb ‘18 Margaret Court Arena Melbourne  
13 Feb ‘18 AEC Theatre Adelaide  
  16 Feb ‘18 Riverside Theatre Perth

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Musica Viva Tasmania l LATITUDE 37 and LUCINDA MOON ...

Theatre Royal
06.02.18 3:00 pm


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Lost Opportunity Humanitarian Exhibition Mawson’s Waterside Pavilion until Feb 12th

Astrid Miller
06.02.18 2:22 pm


Lost Opportunity is a collaborative humanitarian exhibition between Political artist Jill Nolan and the Tassie Nannas. It portrays the story of asylum seekers and refugees who have come by boat to Australia.

The exhibition was inspired by the words of Iranian journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani. He wrote during the four weeks of terror and starvation asylum seekers experienced prior to their forced removal from the Manus Island prison. Despite the trauma of fleeing torture & violence in their home countries, despite being imprisoned indefinitely without hope, despite dehumanisation by Australian Politicians, Boochani wrote what has been described as a true poet’s manifesto.

‘Our resistance is the spirit that haunts Australia. Our resistance is a new manifesto for humanity and love’…

These words moved political artist Jill Nolan to start painting. The resulting exhibition was opened on Monday evening by Rosie Martin, Tasmanian Australian of the Year 2017. Lost Opportunity continues daily until February 12th.

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Situate Art in Festivals announced arts lab artists for 2018

Natasha Newman
05.02.18 2:30 pm

THE PROGRAM: SITUATE Art in Festivals provides an exciting opportunity for early career artists and creative practitioners to push boundaries, take creative risks and develop concepts that respond to the unique potential of festival environments. Artists are selected via an open call to participate in an intensive interdisciplinary residency. The program is managed by Salamanca Arts Centre and based not only in Hobart but other locations across Tasmania.

We have thirteen National and International Partner Festivals who work with us on a two-year cycle to develop and present Situate artists’ work.

THE LAB: The SITUATE Arts Lab is an immersive and intensive, two-week program of provocation and mentoring designed to stimulate ideas and extend artists’ knowledge. Participants will be invited to exchange ideas, work collaboratively and contribute their experience, toward the development of their own artistic practice and proposals for works for Festivals.

During the Arts Lab artists will have the opportunity to work with creative practitioners experienced in developing experimental, large-scale, site-specific or public-participatory artworks. Acting as PROVOCATEURS, senior practitioners come from a wide variety of backgrounds, offering a range of creative and technical skills, to guide participants through a process of creative development, offering feedback on ideas as they emerge. Artists will be encouraged to think in new ways about their own artistic scope,  the presentation of art for the festival context and the logistics involved in scaling up for complex and ambitious projects.

The 2018 Arts Lab will be held at Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart and at Queenstown Tasmania alongside The Unconformity, The dates for the Arts Lab are 12th - 26th October 2018.

QUOTE: Emma Porteus, SITUATE Executive Producer:

“We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the applications overall. Experimental arts practice in Australia plays an important part in our cultural landscape, it pushes the boundaries of form and engages audiences in new and exciting ways. The selection panel had the incredibly hard task of selecting 16 applicants from an unprecedented number of applications. We are all excited to see what the 2018 Arts Lab brings as artists invest in developing their practice alongside creating work for festivals both nationally and internationally.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The SITUATE Art Lab Artists 2018 that have been selected:

Theia Connell (TAS)
Steven Cybulka (SA)
Beth Dillon (NSW)
Arie Glorie (VIC)
Amala Groom (NSW)
Grace Herbert (TAS)
Liam James (TAS)
Loren Kronemyer (WA)
Youbi Lee (VIC)
Sinsa Mansell (TAS)
Kate McDowell (NSW)
Su-An Hg (NSW)
Anna Seymour (VIC)
Alexandra Spence (NSW)
Alexandra Talamo (NSW)
Sara Wright (TAS)

SITUATE Art Lab Provocateurs and Guest Artists 2018:

Edward Horne
Deborah Pollard
Eve Klein
Nathan Maynard
Sam Routledge (Terrapin)
Jonathan Kimberley (GASP)
Simon Spain (All That We Are)
Tristian Meecham (All the Queens Men)
Jessie French (MPavilion)
Nina Sellars
Willoh S. Weiland

For more information regarding the selected artists:

SITUATE Art in Festivals is a Salamanca Arts Centre project for Early Career Artists assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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Despard Gallery: Still looking for that perfect Christmas gift?

Despard Gallery
19.12.17 11:47 am


Still looking for that perfect Christmas gift? We have a range of beautiful jewellery, sculpture, paintings, ceramics and drawings for an affordable price.

Happy Christmas from the Despard Despard Team.

Despard Gallery here

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Virtuosi Tasmania: 2018 season

Virtuosi Tasmania
19.12.17 9:08 am


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Launceston Block Party lineup announced Sunday 14 January, 12–9pm ...

Mona Foma
18.12.17 11:36 am


... QVMAG Courtyard, 2 Invermay Road, Launceston

From giant inflatable musical balls and a sea of onesies, to acoustic sewing machines, special performances by Violent Femmes and Mali’s answer to Tina Turner, Launceston’s inaugural Block Party will deliver an aural banquet moving between the classical and contemporary, the conventional and the unusual.

To kick off the festival, Mofo is heading to the jewel of the north, and throwing a massive free block party for thousands of Launcestonians (plus their grandparents and kiddlywinks) on Sunday 14 January at the QVMAG Courtyard. There’ll be music and art galore, drinks aplenty and a proper spread by Mona’s Heavy Metal Kitchen and a heap of local producers.

For those who don’t know what to wear – no problem, we’ve got it covered when artist and fashion designer Adele Varcoe transforms the courtyard into a romper paradise. Backed by a cacophony of musical sewing machines sampled and amplified by electro-acoustic composer Dylan Sheridan and spontaneous dance performances by Stompin, 1,000 onesies in various sizes (from baby through to adult) made by the local community will be given away for free during the Block Party. We’re calling for all Launcestonians, interlopers and wannabe performers to wear them with pride. First in, best dressed.

Milwaukee’s legendary punk rockers Violent Femmes will head up the highway to perform for one night only; described as “the most uncompromising, unapologetic, and important band in Australia,” indigenous punk lyrical activists Dispossessed will destroy the status quo – and they’re not afraid to speak their minds; Mali’s answer to Tina Turner Amy Sacko and maestro of the ngoni Bassekou Kouyate will combine the traditional sounds of African tribal rhythms with psychedelic rock and blues; and Evan Carydakis Quartet will present a tribute John Coltrane’s seminal album A Love Supreme.

Behold the Sound Bubble, a high tech cube / blow-up stage where violinist Anna McMichael will improvise to the sound design of composer Damian Barbeler; a cross between a giant UFO and an inflatable beach ball, Jon Rose’s Interactive Sonic Ball will be set loose amongst the crowds – chock-a-block full of technology it will turn into a gigantic interactive musical instrument; laser beam, light, sound and colour from audio visual whizz Robin Fox will need to be seen to be believed.

Mary Shannon (Bansheeland) with her solo project Disrepute, will experiment with electronic beats, sad rock, multi-layered vocals, bathroom recordings and washy guitars; Tasmanian gothic grit from Launceston activist Emma Anglesey, joined onstage by musician Yyan Ng; and local jazz group, Jason Whatley Quintet are bringing the band back together just for the Block Party; and an exhibition by Tasmanian artists in partnership with University of Tasmania Collection exploring the desire for mobility and speed.

Other highlights over the mini Mofo weekend include Gotye paying tribute to French electro-pop maestro Jean-Jacques Perrey; instrumental group Godspeed You! Black Emperor, accompanying The Holy Body Tattoo dance ensemble, both from Canada; and Seven, an ongoing project of Sawtooth ARI featuring works in seven art spaces by seven pairs of artists.

To register entry:

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Larry steals Ryan’s Celtic thunder

Paula Xiberras
18.12.17 5:42 am


Ryan Kelly, member of Celtic Thunder singing group and also part of musical duo Byrne and Kelly has visited Tasmania twice as a member of Celtic Thunder however,  next year’s visit will see him tour for the first time, as half of Byrne and Kelly, with fellow Celtic Thunder member Neil Byrne making up the other half.

The duo’s experience will be a more intimate one with just themselves and a pianist, a very different experience from the Celtic Thunder production of a 60 piece symphony orchestra, which Ryan is part of at the time of our chat, as Celtic Thunder tours the US. Ryan tells me he enjoys both productions equally, but differently.

Ryan is enthusiastic about visiting Tasmania again as he loves the local’s appreciation of culture and in spite of the distance between Ireland and Tasmania, music proves once again its universality, with the performance and songs resonating with audiences. On the subject of audiences’ reception of the songs Ryan adds that he welcomes the many interpretations of the songs of audiences and says he would never dismiss anyone’s interpretation, even if it were something he as the writer never considered. Ryan just marvels at music’s ability to speak to the individual’s heart and soul.

Of Ryan’s song writing process with Neil Byrne, each guy has their own approach, in fact come January, Ryan will take himself off to a remote cottage in County Cavan and work on new songs for the upcoming tour.

Considering the solitary pursuit that song writing can be and how touring takes you away from those you hold dear for long periods of time, Ryan tells me about how, when he is away on tour, he misses and is missed by his French bulldog Larry. Larry has become something of a celebrity in his own right among Ryan’s fans and Ryan says he is somewhat deflated that the fans often bring more gifts for Larry than for him! Ryan’s mum takes care of Larry when Ryan is away on tour and says Ryan Larry is thoroughly spoiled, so much so, Ryan believes one day Larry might decide not to return home with him at all.

When Ryan is on tour perhaps to the amusement of some fans he keeps in touch with Larry via skype!

You can see Ryan and Neil sans Larry in Hobart on February 8 2018.

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EOI for TMAG Board of Trustees

Elise Archer, Minister for the Arts
16.12.17 8:59 am

Individuals interested in becoming a member of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) Board of Trustees can now apply.

The Board is seeking members for a term up to three years and who have expertise, qualifications or experience in areas outlined in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Act 2017 including art, business or financial management and natural science.

Board members will be appointed by myself, as the Minister for the Arts.

Expressions of interest advertisements have been placed in all major Tasmanian newspapers today.

For more information visit:

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Cygnet Folk Festival 2018

Erin Collins Artistic Director Cygnet Folk Festival
15.12.17 3:21 pm

Josephina Paulsen

Only weeks to go until our favourite weekend in January!

The 2018 Cygnet Folk Festival will be the 36th festival: such longevity is in itself worth celebrating!!

As always there a fabulous lineup of performers from allover this wonderful world.

There will be music, dance, spoken word and poetry, circus, comedy and cabaret, a full weekend of kids performances and activities, workshops and sessions and instruments on display: and of course great local food and drink to keep up your energy for a weekend of fun!

Programmes are hot off the press so look out in your favourite cafes or the Information Centre or you can check online at

For 2018 the festival welcomes performers from the USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Sicily, England, Ireland, Serbia Japan and New Zealand in addition to most Australian states and territories, as well as fabulous musical talent from allover Tasmania. For a full list of acts see

The festival will once again kick off with our Friday masterclass series from 11am.

In 2018 masterclass presenters are the legendary Bruce Molskey teaching Bluegrass Fiddle, Simone Pope, arguably Australia’s leading exponent and teacher of Flamenco dance, the festival welcomes back Irish Joe Lynch with a brand new take on storytelling techniques and hints, APRA award winning songwriter Charles Jenkins will run a songwriting masterclass and Canadian Teresa Doyle will present the Yoga of Sound.

All masterclasses will be limited in size, so for $55 you get four hours of up close tuition with some of the finest!

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Remote Indigenous artworks at TMAG

Elise Archer, Minister for the Arts
14.12.17 7:25 pm

A new touring exhibition of Indigenous Yolgnu art and culture from the Northern Territory’s north east Arnhem Land is now on show at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

Called Balnhdhurr – A Lasting Impression the retrospective exhibition is a vibrant acknowledgement of the talent and commitment of generations of Yolngu artists.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is delighted TMAG is hosting this exhibition that celebrates 20 years of continual print production by Arnhem Land employed and trained Indigenous printmakers at the Yirrkala print space.

Works from more than 50 artists will be on display, including historically significant prints.

The Berndt Etchings series draws direct inspiration from the Berndt Crayon Drawings of Yirrkala, produced by the artists’ predecessors in 1947, while String Figure prints are a response to another archaeological collection from 1948.

Works in Balnhdhurr also reveal the significant impact the introduction bright acrylics had on the artists, which allowed them to explore a new genre of artistic storytelling that became a joyous explosion of colour and expression.

The exhibition is presented by Artback NT in partnership with Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre.

Balnhdhurr – A Lasting Impression runs from December 15 until March 12.

For more information visit:

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Moonah Arts Centre:  Calling for artists ...

Moonah Arts Centre
14.12.17 1:37 pm

Dear friends,

Moonah Arts Centre is calling for artists living and/or working in The Glenorchy municipality to be part of the annual Glenorchy Open art exhibition for 2018!

The Glenorchy municipality includes Austins Ferry, Granton, Claremont, Chigwell, Glenlusk, Berriedale, Rosetta, Montrose, Collinsvale, Glenorchy, Goodwood, Derwent Park, Dowsing Point, Moonah, West Moonah and Lutana.

The exhibition features work by established artists, emerging artists and students working in any media including painting, drawing, print media, sculpture, installation, photography, ceramics, textiles, digital media and more!

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