ARTS AND CULTURE
Small in size, but big on creativity, Tasmania’s arts and culture scene is thriving with everything from intimate regional galleries to must-see museums, public exhibition spaces, and creative hubs.
It may be small in size but Tasmania is big on creativity.
QUEEN VICTORIA MUSEUM & ART GALLERY (QVMAG)
Gallery: 2 Wellington Street, Launceston. Museum: 2 Invernmay Road, Launceston. (03) 6323 3777, qvmag.tas.gov.au Launceston’s QVMAG is spread across two sites and if you’re interested in interplanetary pizzazz, head directly to the art gallery’s planetarium at Royal Park. Gazing up at the domed ceiling, projected images take you on an immersive journey into space, with shows ranging from the mysteries of black holes to a live description of the night sky. Come back down to earth at the museum at Inveresk, where Tasmanian history and natural science collections are on display.
TASMANIAN MUSEUM & ART GALLERY (TMAG)
Dunn Place, Hobart
(03) 6165 7000, tmag.tas.gov.au
One of the state’s most approachable museums, TMAG has some of the best examples of colonial photography, and the display cases of native mammals gives you the chance to safely stare at a real Tasmanian devil. For a more personal venture into history, take a live theatrical journey through some of the museum’s original buildings from European settlement – you might meet an escaped convict or be introduced to the local Lieutenant Governor from the mid-19th century.
MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART (MONA)
655 Main Road, Berriedale. Closed Tuesdays. (03) 6277 9900, mona.net.au
MONA is a subterranean playground of art, sometimes whimsical, often challenging, outrageous and always amusing. Some of the work isn’t suitable for kids (there’s a child-friendly route for parents who don’t want to explain the facts of life prematurely). But outside of the gallery, MONA is a museum fun park that’s great for all ages. Beanbags are scattered on a wide expanse of lawn with live music every weekend. Kids can play in the nearby giant teepees, and chickens and ducks roam free.
INDIGENOUS ART EXPERIENCES
Art Mob – Aboriginal Fine Art 29 Hunter Street, Hobart (03) 6236 9200, artmob.com.au
Long before European settlers landed on the island, Aboriginal Tasmanians were creating intricate bark paintings and delicate shell necklaces. You’ll find key pieces on display at the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery and at several commercial galleries. Art Mob represents around 400 indigenous artists, including leading contemporary local artist Mick Quilliam, who uses traditional techniques applying them to modern mediums.
DEVONPORT REGIONAL GALLERY
45 Stewart Street, Devonport
(03) 6424 8296, devonportgallery.com To see the work of some of Tasmania’s most talented emerging artists, make a beeline for Devonport Regional Gallery. The main gallery, in a renovated 19th century church, features touring and permanent contemporary exhibitions including textiles, ceramics, sculptures and paintings. The Little Gallery is reserved for emerging artists, providing a rare space for experimentation.
Salamanca Place, Hobart handmark.com.au aspectdesign.com.au
In the heart of Hobart, Salamanca Place is known for its weekly outdoor Saturday market, where hundreds of stallholders sell everything from knitted socks to locally distilled whisky. Inside the gentrified 19th century buildings are a host of galleries showcasing a diverse range of local work. The airy Handmark Gallery offers the full gamut of mediums, from ceramic to glass and sculpture and Aspect Design has pieces from around 100 artisans, including handcrafted timber furniture.
Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery