COCKLECREEK TOQUEENSTOW N~AHISTORIC A L N A R R AT I V E MANDY HUNNIFORD
Cockle Creek to Queenstown â€“ A Historical Narrative, interprets the Tasmanian landscape through a synthesis of visual images and history with Colonial and Aboriginal references. The exhibition incorporates a combination of themes, such as the exploration by Europeans, the settlement of the island, the representation of Aboriginal language, the depiction of locations, illustrating the land and its histories, anecdotes handed down through generations and the relationship between the images and text. The exhibition investigates the roles of text as visual metaphors and as written history and is a record of Tasmanian history, documenting a sense of place and chronicling the past. These narrative landscapes are not only a declaration of site but also about the passage of time. Tracing the journeys of early exploration, with the use of evocation, allegories, connections and repetition, the aim of this exhibition is to present an inventive and stimulating demonstration of contemporary painting practice with a historical perspective. Mandy Hunniford 2011
COCKLECREEK TOQUEENSTOW N~AHISTORIC A L N A R R AT I V E
We are often told how ‘The journey is more important than
We can find names of early explorers, reminders of the
overlays the contemporary ‘ruins’ of the Horton College,
Each of these evocative images in this series have
the destination’. However, we spend so much of our life
settlers and places now gone, and the names and words of
built in 1855, with a depiction of the Ross female factory,
been carefully matched with the textual elements of
rushing from one place to another that we rarely appreciate
the original inhabitants, the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
which closed in the same year. This work has created a
the work, the names of people and events that have
strong dialogue between the two sides of the colonial
shaped the history of the state. Each work has been
Cockle Creek a work finding inspiration from the far south
settlement: the landed settlers and their convict labours.
carefully constructed to lead the view onto different
coast of Tasmania. The painting depicts the garden at
403 women and girls were known to have spent time at the
stories but with an eye on the overall composition of a
Recherché Bay and looks south to the Great Southern
Ross Female Factory which is now a protected historic site.
series. The tremendous amount of work that the artist
Ocean. It investigates the location where, in 1792, French
Most tellingly this work tells the duel story of the Tasmanian
explorer Bruni D’Entrecasteaux went ashore onto the
Midlands with the factory established to incarcerate and
land of the Lyluequonny people. There was a great
act as a supply centre for the female convicts. Convicts
Cockle Creek to Queenstown - A Historical Narrative
deal of contact between these Tasmanian Aboriginal
that were needed to work in the homes of the landed
investigates a journey around Tasmania, from Cockle Creek
people and the explorers during D’Entrecasteaux’s
elite, whose children attended the Horton Collegeii.
in the far south, through the Midlands, along the Northwest
time there, with this being one of the few positive
Coast and ending in the rugged Tasmanian West Coast.
interactions between the Tasmanians and the Europeans.
what we see, or engage with the places we pass through. This is particularly true, for some reason, when living in Tasmania. Although this is a small state we inevitably find ourselves so determined to get from North to South, Hobart to Launceston, Burnie to Queenstown, one population centre to the next. As a result we often overlook the beauty and fascinating history of the places we pass through.
Through this body of work the artist has sought to explore many areas of the state that we frequently drive past and don’t give the consideration that perhaps we should.
The series starts with Monsieur Delahaye’s Garden -
This exhibition is a documentary process, with stories from the past overlapping with the present, brought together
The explorers recorded the considerable evidence of the
through both image and text. As the series continues
Tasmanian’s long term occupancy, with shelters, discarded
through the state we see both remembered sites such
tools and artefacts, being found and social interaction being recorded. These explorers also left their mark on the
through the artists use of colour, with the series’ the most
Island. The expeditions’ gardener, Felix Delahaye, planted
perceptible transition from place to place being through the
out a vegetable garden during their time here with fruit
carefully changing palette. We can see the landscape spread
trees and many root vegetables being left to grow there.
This series reaches its conclusion on Tasmania’s West Coast
out before us as we move from work to work; the greens
Ten years later, Delahaye became the head gardener for
with the painting, Landscape Memorial in Copper and Gold,
of the far south, the dusty browns of the dry sun-baked
Napoleon’s wife Josephine, but his garden planted in
Queenstown. This work highlights the mineral wealth of
midlands, to the lush patchwork of the Northwest pastures
Tasmania continued to fascinate our later settlers with
this West Coast town with the scarred moonscape-hills
and the dense foliage and rugged mineral rich West coast.
people like Lady Jane Franklin and Ronald Campbell
awash with the gold and copper hues, referencing the
Gunn searching for the garden, but with little success.
treasure that has made this town thrive. However, like
The site of the original Garden was only rediscovered
all of this artists works, there is another message that is
in 2003 and now forms part of the world heritage area .
not obvious at first. This work seeks to act as a reminder
stories of the state. Subtle hints and stories, names and
As the series continues through the Midlands, we can
to the 42 men that were trapped and died in the Mt Lyell
places can be found throughout the text surrounding
see how the artist has skilfully entwined elements of the
mining disaster in 1912. Each of these men have been
each work. The artist has chosen to refrain from the
past and present in many of her works, creating images
memorialised in the work, their names painted across the
use of dates, instead giving the viewer the chance to
layered in both meaning and historical reference. One
hills, and then covered in the colours of gold and copper,
discover a name, a place or an event that may lead to
example can be seen in, Horton College Remains and the
the minerals that helped make the state grow and prosper
a new reading of each work as a new story is revealed.
Female Factory, Ross. This carefully constructed painting
but has also cost the lives of many that have sought itiii.
Tasmania by an exploration of colour and landscape; we are also led through the rich history and the hidden
carefully researched and skilfully created. As the viewer continues to spend time with the works more stories begin to unfold and as we engage with this series we are lead on a journey, through both the natural beauty, colonial landscapes and the amazing history of Tasmania. Damien Quilliam Curator of Contemporary Australian Art, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
as the now demolished jetty at Port Sorell corresponding
The journey that we are taken on becomes first apparent
This exhibition does not just take us on a journey through
has put into this show is obvious with each work being
with the striking contemporary portrayals like the poppy fields at Ulverstone or the rich farmland tapestry at Burnie.
i M ulvaney, John, 2007, The Axe Had Never Sounded: Place, People and Heritage in Recherche Bay, Tasmania, Australian National University, Canberra ii Bender, B., Winer, M.,2001, Contested landscapes: movement, exile and place, Berg, Oxford. iii Bonyhady, T., Griffiths, T., 2002, Words for country: landscape & language in Australia, UNSW Press, Sydney.
Monsieur Delahaye’s Garden, Cockle Creek, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
Hope, Faith and Charity Islands, Dover, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
1. Monsieur Delahaye’s Garden, Cockle Creek
2. Hope, Faith and Charity Islands, Dover
In 1792, the French explorer Bruni D’Entrecasteaux sailed into Recherché Bay, Cockle Creek on a botanical expedition. The same year his journal stated that the expedition’s gardener, Felix Delahaye, had planted a garden behind a protective stone wall on the shores of the north‐east peninsula. In 2003 the remains of this French garden were discovered and a reserve was created to protect the area.
The town was originally named Port Esperance by the French explorer, Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in 1792. D’Entrecasteaux and his crew used the safe harbour of Recherché Bay to carry out necessary repairs before sailing up the channel, charting and naming Port Esperance which later became the site of the region’s main town of Dover.
Cockle Creek is significant for its rich material history in the form of middens, and as the site of positive exchange between Tasmanian Aborigines and French navigators. The crew included botanists, mappers, astronomers, artists, gardeners and Louis Girardin, a mysterious steward with his own secret, could not have anticipated becoming such important part of Australian history.
Dover lies beside the waters of Esperance Bay and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, with the imposing figure of Adamson’s Peak in the background. Dover was originally established as a convict probation station. The three islands directly offshore, Faith, Hope and Charity, were named perhaps to inspire the convicts held at the original probation station.
Hidden within this band of intellectuals was Girardin, an effeminate young man who, as the crew was to discover, was in fact a 38 year old woman, Marie Louise Victoire Girardin. Girardin was the daughter of the head gardener at the royal court of Versailles who was forced out of France after shaming her father by having an illegitimate child. Going against the strict naval laws then forbidding women to participate in expeditions, Bruni D’Entrecasteaux not only knew of Girardin’s deception, he appeared to encourage it. Girardin was keen to maintain her disguise – she defended her masculinity by challenging a fellow crew man to a sword fight during which she suffered a gash to the arm. Lady Jane Franklin, wife of the Governor Sir John Franklin, led an expedition which included the ornithologist John Gould and botanist Ronald Gunn to Cockle Creek in 1839. They made three attempts to find Felix Delahaye’s garden but failed.
Fourteen Tree Plain, Jericho, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
Horton College Remains and the Female Factory, Ross 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
3. Fourteen Tree Plain, Jericho
4. Horton College Remains and the Female Factory, Ross
Founded in 1816, Jericho is one of the oldest townships in Australia.
In 1850 Captain Samuel Horton offered 20 acres and £1350 to the Wesleyan Church for the establishment of a boy’s college. The multi-storeyed Horton College was built of red brick with dressings and had trimmings of carved sandstone. The portico, some foundations and underground water well are all that remain after the college was pulled down in 1920 due to lack of students.
Private Hugh Germain is believed to have served in the Royal Marines in Egypt and during his exploration beyond Hobart Town in 1806 carried a copy of the Arabian nights. He is believed to be responsible for the names of Bagdad, Jericho, River Jordan, Jerusalem Plain (now Colebrook) and Lake Tiberias. The most notable buildings in Jericho are the Commandant’s Cottage (built in 1842) and the Probation Station (built in 1840), which was constructed to house the 200 convicts who were used to construct the road linking Hobart and Launceston. The land adjacent to the Probation Station was originally known as ‘Fourteen Tree Plain’ and was the site of the first horse race in the colony of Van Diemen’s Land, held in April 1826.
Horton College was the first Methodist College in Australia. In 1935 at the Mary Fox Wing at the Methodist Ladies College (now Scotch Oakburn College), old bricks from Horton College were built into one of the walls as a tangible reminder of the college association.
The Ross Female Factory operated towards the end of the transportation period from March 1848 to January 1855. It served as a factory as well as a hiring depot, an overnight station for female convicts travelling between settlements, a hospital and a nursery. It was one of five female factories established in Tasmania. The Ross Bridge is decorated with 186 intricate carvings featuring animals, birds, insects, plants, Celtic Gods and Goddesses and the heads of local friends and foe – including an unflattering one of Governor of the day, George Arthur. These carvings were created by convicts Daniel Herbert whose artistry earned him his freedom and James Colbeck who was also a talented stonemason. Prior to his transportation he had worked on the construction of Buckingham Palace.
Murderers Tier and Mary Island, Oatlands, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
The Almond Gardens, Campbell Town, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
5. Murderers Tier and Marys Island, Oatlands
6. The Almond Gardens, Campbell Town
The Black War of Van Diemen’s Land was the name of the official campaign of terror directed against the Tasmanian Aborigines. Between the years of 1803 and 1843, the Aborigines of Tasmania were reduced from an estimated five thousand people to less than seventy five. In 1830, Governor Arthur called upon every able-bodied male colonist, convict or free, to form a human chain, later known as The Black Line to perform a sweep of the area. Over 1000 soldiers and armed civilians swept across the settled districts, moving south and east for several weeks, in an attempt to corral the Aborigines. The government and historians consider the Black Line to have been an excessively costly action. It was unsuccessful in capturing more than a few Aborigines. Even though they managed to avoid capture during these events, the remaining Tasmanian Aborigines were shaken by the size of the campaigns against them, and this brought them to a position whereby they were persuaded by Augustus Robinson, the missionary, to move to Flinders Island where their numbers decreased further. Mary’s Island on Lake Dulverton was named after Mary Anstey, wife of the local Police Magistrate Thomas Anstey. It is a small sandstone rock roughly 80 m long with a few cedars growing on it.
Some unusual names have flourished around Oatlands such as Brents Sugarloaf, Brandy Bottom, Rumneys Hut, Murderers Tier and Kittys Corner.
Alfred Biggs made the first telephone call in the Southern Hemisphere from the Campbell Town Railway Station in1874.
Jorgen Jorgenson, the self-proclaimed, ‘King of Iceland’ was an intelligent, quick-witted adventurer who was born in Denmark. As a young man, he served in both the British and Danish navies and subsequently travelled to Iceland. Whilst there, he saw an opportunity to overthrow the government and during a return visit with a group of armed British seamen, he arrested the Danish governor. Jorgenson enjoyed control over the government for several weeks before the Danish military forced him out. He returned to England, and to prison.
IN 1874, the US Navy sent several teams to various points in the Southern Hemisphere to observe the Transit of Venus. Bad weather meant the team destined for the Crozet Islands could not land and by invitation from Dr. William Valentine, came to Tasmania. They viewed the Transit from Valentine’s park in Campbell Town. The phenomenon occurs in cycles of 120 then 12 years – the most recent was June 8, 2004.
Heavy drinking and habitual gambling saw Jorgenson fall on hard times, but eventually he fought his way back to some sort of respectability and was employed as an English spy. Ultimately though, his bad habits got the better of him; he was arrested for theft and sentenced to transportation for life. Arriving in Van Diemen’s Land in 1826, Jorgenson redeemed himself once more, rising to the ranks of field policeman at Oatlands.
Harold Gatty born in Campbell Town in 1903 and was a distinguished navigator who flew the “Winnie Mae” around the world in 8 days with Wiley Post, a native American Indian pilot. A local school teacher’s son, Harold Gatty made history as the two of them flew around the world in 8 days and 15 hours - a feat never before achieved. Years later many American military pilots who had to ditch into the sea owed their survival to him too. He developed a navigation system and survival guide - ‘The Raft Book’ that the US military used for several decades. In 1827 John McLeod planted a large almond orchard, part of which still remains and accounts for the name given by the locals to the area. He held a ball at Meadowbank and used a platoon of convicts to attend to hundreds of red Chinese lanterns to light the road from Campbell town. The ball was called The Almond Gardens Ball.
Tamar Island, Riverside, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
The Jetty, Narawntapu and Penguin Island, Port Sorell, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
7. Tamar Island, Riverside
8. The Jetty, Narawntapu and Penguin Island, Port Sorell
Tamar Island was first sighted in 1804 and over the years had been known as Upper, Pig and Mud Island. It was also called Turtledove Island because of the number of young couples who went courting there. It was named Tamar Island in 1906.
Port Sorell was originally named Burgess but in 1822, Governor William Sorell renamed it in honor of himself. It was once the largest town on the north coast and had a thriving port developed by the Van Dieman’s Land Company. This port included a jetty opposite Bakers Beach that is no longer there, it has since been replaced by a concrete pylon. Port Sorell had a convict jail on Watchhouse Hill now home to a bowling green. Little evidence of Port Sorell’s history remains after the town was destroyed by bushfire.
With a rich and varied history it has been a quarantine station as well as a graveyard for sunken ships that lie beneath the waters of The Burial Grounds. It was also used as a training base for soldiers when the British were worried about a potential Russian offensive against Tasmania. From the late 1800s until the 1950s, the island was offered as a farming lease. One such resident was Thomas Robinson, who in 1892 leant his plough up against an oak tree upon the death of his wife. That tree is still there today with the plough embedded in its trunk.
Port Sorell was the home of the Punnilerpanner tribe, with midden sites up to 4000 years old. In 2000, Asbestos Ranges was changed back to its Aboriginal title, Narawntapu, in recognition of its long and significant place in the history of Tasmania’s Aboriginal people.
In 1890 Tamar Island became a botanical ark with over 500 trees from the Botanical Gardens in Hobart planted. There are still roughly 100 trees including Spruce, Fir, Elm and Oak on the island today.
The Poppy Fields, Ulverstone, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
Farmland, Burnie, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
9. The Poppy Fields, Ulverstone
10. Farmland, Burnie
The present-day town area was first settled by Europeans in 1848.
Burnie was originally settled in 1827 as Emu Bay. The town was renamed for William Burnie, a director of the Van Dieman’s Land Company, in the early 1840s.
Developmental work in the poppy industry was done by the CSRIO during World War 2 in a number of Australian States including Tasmania. Pilot production began on the North West coast in 1964. Tasmanian Alkaloids commenced in 1970 along with the first season of commercial production. In 1972 a joint decision by Commonwealth and State Governments restricted the growing of poppies to Tasmania. This led to the establishment of the Poppy Advisory and Control Board.
Later in 1827, a small settlement was established at the western end of Emu Bay, near the present city centre. The name ‘Emu Bay’ was chosen because of the Tasmanian sub-species of emu that became extinct sometime in the 1850s. The settlement of Emu Bay was initially used as the base for all the Van Diemen’s Land Company operations in the district. Some of the settlers refused to adapt to their new surroundings. For instance they did not recognise that in the southern hemisphere the seasons were reversed. For many years the costs of farming were only just recovered. By the 1880s the company was making more money from timber felling and timber exports than from farming.
However, its fortunes changed dramatically in the 1880s with the discovery of significant mineral deposits on the west coast of Tasmania. In 1878 the Van Diemen’s Land Company constructed a wooden horse-drawn tramway to serve Mt Bischoff, which was then the richest tin mine in the world. With the late-nineteenth century mineral boom on the west coast, which saw the towns of Zeehan, Mt Lyell, Dundas, Renison Bell and Rosebery grow rapidly, the railway was taken over by the Emu Bay Railway Company and extended to Zeehan in 1900. Thus, Burnie became the major port for the shipping of silver from Tasmania. This saw record growth in Burnie’s business district and the further development of outlying farms. The claims of Mt Bischoff and the mines at Zeehan that were served by the Emu Bay Railway line began to decline by about 1915, and Burnie although its population had grown and its port facilities had been substantially developed once more found itself almost wholly reliant on its outlying farms and forests for its existence.
St. Valentines Peak, Hampshire, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
Grey Gums and Red Rocks, Tullah, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
11. St. Valentines Peak, Hampshire
12. Grey Gums and Red Rocks, Tullah
In 1827 Henry Hellyer, an explorer and surveyor with the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL), led an arduous 32-day trek inland from Stanley through almost impenetrable bush to the ‘peak like a volcano’ which had been observed by Matthew Flinders in 1798. Commencing its ascent on St. Valentine’s Day, Hellyer named it St Valentine’s Peak. Hellyer’s report of extensive, open and apparently desirable sheep country he called Surrey and Hampshire Hills resulted in the VDL applying for a series of grants which totalled over 170,000 acres.
Tullah was originally a mining town called Mount Farrell. Tullah was established as a small mining settlement in 1900 following the discovery of silver lead ore by Josiah Innes and party. Original access was by foot and packhorse until the Mt. Farrell Tramway was completed in March 1909. In 1924 the Wee Georgie Wood steam railway linked the town to the Emu Bay railway and this continued until 1964 when the Murchison Highway was completed.
Unlike the older sheep districts of the eastern half of Tasmania, the country around St. Valentine’s peak was sub-alpine, with long, wet and bitterly cold winters. The native snow grass lacked nutrition and in the first few winters more than 5,000 merino sheep perished. Hellyer’s inability to judge the type of country that was required and the VDL’s chief agent Edward Curr’s acceptance of Hellyer’s opinion without first inspecting the land himself, led to serious financial difficulties in the VDL. Curr wrote of Hellyer: ‘he may look upon everything with a painter’s eye and upon his own discoveries in particular with an affection that is blind to all faults’. Hellyer’s belief that slanderous reports were circulating about him apparently worked on his over-sensitive and reserved nature to the point of desperation and he committed suicide on the 9th September 1832.
Silver City (The Secret Garden), Zeehan, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
Hells Gates, Strahan, 2011, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
13. Silver City (The Secret Garden), Zeehan
14. Hells Gates, Strahan
Zeehan was one of the first places in Tasmania ever seen by Europeans. As early as 1642 Abel Tasman sighted the mountain peak which was subsequently named Mount Zeehan after the brig in which he was sailing. It was Bass and Flinders, travelling around the Tasmanian coast in 1802, who named both Mount Zeehan and Mount Heemskirk after the two boats used by Tasman in his epic voyages.
For 12 years between 1822 and 1834, Sarah Island was the most feared place in Australia. The conditions were so brutal that many convicts went insane, chose death or a very uncertain escape into the bush rather than spend their time in this notorious place.
In 1871 the discovery of tin at Mount Bischoff led to further exploration in the area. 10 years later, Frank Long discovered silver and lead, sparking the largest mining boom on the West Coast of Tasmania. While the boom lasted it was known as the Silver City. In 1871, Dame Nellie Melba, Australia’s first opera star, once graced the stage of the Gaiety Theatre. 27 men have died in the mines at Zeehan. Their names have been painted under the grey and silver mountain in this painting as a memorial to them. On the west coast there had been rumours for years of a secret garden in Zeehan. The general consensus was that there had been a garden but to this day its whereabouts remains a mystery.
The name “Hells Gates” relates to the original convicts’ claim that it was their point of ‘entrance to Hell,’ their Hell being the Penal Colony on Sarah Island and the outlying surrounds of the harbor. The convicts worked on a nearby coal seam and rowed across the harbor each day (after swimming to the boats) to cut down the large stands of Huon Pine which edged the waters. It finally closed down in 1833 when the remaining convicts were taken to Port Arthur. In 1822, Alexander Pearce and seven other convicts escaped from gaol on Sarah Island and set out on a terrible journey that led to starvation and, ultimately, cannibalism. Pearce was captured and upon his return to Macquarie Harbour, confessed to cannibalism. There was insufficient evidence to try Pearce for murder. On his second escape, only a few weeks after he was returned to Macquarie Harbour, Pearce again killed his companion for food, despite having sufficient bread and salt meat with him at the time of his capture. Pearce was found guilty of murder and executed at Hobart Town on 19 July 1824. One of the best known prisoners to escape from Sarah Island was the flamboyant Matthew Brady. In June 1824 Brady and fourteen companions seized a boat and sailed to the Derwent estuary before taking to the bush. In 1891, two lighthouses were built, one on the western side of Entrance Island, and the other on Bonnet Island.
Landscape Memorial in Copper and Gold, Queenstown, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x180cm
15. Landscape Memorial in Copper and Gold, Queenstown
Queenstown, its hills stripped bare of timber to fire the local copper smelters, has the appearance of a deserted moonscape. Throughout the townâ€™s 130 year mining history, diminishing gold resources resulted in a shift to copper mining. The copper smelters polluted the area with sulphur fumes and left the landscape sparse. Vegetation is now slowing regrowing.
The artist would like to thank the Director of the Academy Gallery, Malcom Bywaters, Exhibitions Manager, Robert Boldkald, Amelia Rowe and the staff and volunteers at the Academy Gallery for their enthusiasm and effort towards this exhibition. Thank you to Damien Quilliam for writing the catalogue essay and Rhonda Hamilton for opening the exhibition. Special thanks to Emeritus Professor Vincent McGrath, Todd Wilkin, Jesse Hunniford, and to my family and friends.
The mountains surrounding Queenstown including Mt. Owen and Mt. Lyell have unusual pink and yellow hues that come from the conglomerate rocks hence their particular colour. In 1912, 42 men died in the Mt. Lyell Disaster. The names of these men have been painted under the layers of copper and gold in this painting in recognition of their lost lives. Although concealed, their names are there nonetheless.
This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.
*Historical information for artwork numbers 1 to 15 is supplied by the artist from various sources. This information is not intended to be definitive but to merely act as a guide for the artwork.. Mandy Hunniford is represented by Handmark Gallery, Hobart and Evandale, Tasmania
Academy Gallery academy of the arts SCHOOL OF VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS LAUNCESTON UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA
Staff: Malcom Bywaters, Director Deborah Sciulli, Administrative Officer Robert Boldkald, Exhibition Manager Georgie Parker, President Academy Gallery Volunteer Club Catalogue published by the University of Tasmania, School of Visual and Performing Arts. All rights reserved. Copyright the author, artist and the University of Tasmania, School of Visual and Performing Arts.
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