Presented by Anne Buckingham

‘Self(ies) in Nature’ considers how the natural landscape is compromised by our desire to capture ourselves on screen. Displayed as images in phone cases, the delicate relationship is explored through abstracted cyanotypes and stitched sketches.

The installation ‘Self(ies) in Nature’ explores our delicate relationship with nature and how that relationship can change focus when viewed through the lens of a phone.

Being in nature benefits us physically and emotionally, and nature in turn benefits from our understanding and respect for it.

This balance can be disturbed when we turn the lens to include ourselves and the perspective changes from nature in the spotlight, to merely being a backdrop to self.

Our need to be centre stage can diminish our ability to be truely present with nature. The artwork questions what is lost when we become the focal point and nature is the accessory.

The abstracted cyanotypes are a collaboration with nature and combine found natural objects and repurposed fabric. Cyanotypes are a form of camera-less photography which rely on the sun for processing and ultimately give nature the final say in the outcome.

The design of the installation highlights our tendency to display our achievements of being in nature. Sketched profiles suggest, however, the fleetingness of humans in comparison to the natural landscape, despite any attempts to dominate it. They are accompanied by thoughts of nature writers, who too, grapple with our complicated relationship with the environment.

The installation follows a residency at Salamanca Arts Centre.

Presented by Lorenz Cherry

“A Clown’s Selfie Saga: An Emotional Odyssey” explores the complexities of human emotions. Inspired by the concept of ‘selfies’ and staged moments in life, this artwork utilizes a melodramatic clown to convey the diverse range of feelings we reveal or conceal.

“A Clown’s Selfie Saga: An Emotional Odyssey” delves into the profound intricacies of human emotions and the façades we present to society. Inspired by the concept of staging moments and the ubiquitous ‘selfie’ culture, this artwork employs the symbolic figure of a melodramatic clown to convey the complex range of feelings we share or conceal.

Crafted from vintage machine knitting yarn meticulously sewn onto fabric, the material serves as a metaphor for life’s arduous journey, while the vibrant colors symbolize the joy that can be found amidst hardship.

At the heart of the exhibition lies a glimpse into the saga of life. From infectious laughter to profound sorrow, the clown mirrors the kaleidoscope of human emotions we either share with the world or keep hidden within.

Overall, “A Clown’s Selfie Saga: An Emotional Odyssey” seamlessly blends whimsy with societal reflection. It aims to ignite deeper conversations about empathy and understanding through its drama, humor, and storytelling.

Presented by The Spindle Tree

The Spindle Tree’s installation in the Lightbox is a “Looking Forward | Looking Back” over thirty years of creating beautiful fibre handicrafts, exhibiting craftsmanship and skills rarely seen. Classics, as well as contemporary design will be on display.

The Spindle Tree’s installation in the Lightbox is a “Looking Forward | Looking Back” over thirty years of creating beautiful fibre handicrafts, exhibiting craftsmanship and skills rarely seen.

Classics, as well as contemporary design will be on display.

Can you remember 35 years ago?

The 1st of June 1989 to be precise.

That’s the day The Spindle Tree opened its doors for the first time.

Way back when the members of the Guild wanted an outlet for their works, mainly weaving, so a group of Guild friends got together, discussing the possibility of a ‘shop’. So many questions to answer : where to open, costs, legality, membership, a co-op?

With the dedicated help of the Guild members a plan was formed. Meetings held. Mrs Sheila Beattie was by agreement voted Chair. Luckily her son Ian was a lawyer and was a great benefit in setting up the Co-Operative and how to frame the Constitution.

Today The Spindle Tree is still run on the same lines and conditions. Over the years many things have changed, but not the core objectives or values.

Tasmanian made. All natural fibres.

Where to place out ‘shop’? Not an easy task. Finally it was agreed the Salamanca Arts Centre would be ideal. The Spindle Tree was originally located where the main stairs are now. Eighteen months later The Spindle Tree moved to it’s present location in Space 009; it has been ‘home’ for over thirty years.

A peek at the many ways metal can be transformed when clever hands are let loose with hammers (and other tools).

Hammer and Hand is an icon of Salamanca; a metal worker’s collective which has been supporting emerging jewellers and blacksmiths, many straight from art school or TAFE, since its conception in 1995. Having seen 50 or so members over the years, it continues to be a crucible of intriguing, beautifully conceived and constructed, locally hand made objects, to wear, use or simply enjoy in your space.

‘In Memoriam’ is a tribute to the melancholic beauty of the animal remains that we see around us every day.

When I was eleven, I saw some older kids messing around with a dead bird in a fountain. They didn’t want to touch it, so they were flicking it at each other with a shoe. I waited until they were gone, and then I picked it up in my hands, apologised to it, took it to a garden bed, and buried it. I was a weird, unhygienic child, but I still think my heart was in the right place.

‘In Memoriam’ is intended to present animal remains in a way that inspires the same devastating awe with which one might regard images of a human skeleton. It is my wish to banish disgust, or any desire to dispose of or look away from dead animals. Whether they are killed by other animals, humans or the elements, their bodies are still evidence of something beautiful. Sometimes that beauty persists in an obvious way after they have passed, sometimes the manner of their passing makes it difficult to see, but I hope to convince you that it is still there.

PLEASE NOTE our lift is currently undergoing maintenance and repairs. Wheelchair access to levels 2 and 3 of the arts centre is currently unavailable.



Uncertain times are ahead.

Are we dangerously close to a cosmic shift in our way of life?

Are you ready for The Visit?

In this installation The Visit is taking place.

The Who, What, Where and When isn’t determined. We, as boxed humans filled to the brim of humanness thoughts, information, fears, desires, random useless emotions, some useful ones too, we stand and watch The Visit unfold.

We don’t know what to do, do we engage with and follow our new visitors, or do we stand back fearfully thinking they might be an enemy and here to do harm?

Taking inspiration from my employment as a gallery attendant, I observe visitors in many different stances, I closely watch their behavior – observing the observer.

Often I have seen visitors outside of their comfort zone, either being in the gallery in the first place, an alien space for some, or being confronted with ideas, visuals or sounds that disrupt their norm. I help expand their minds.

Would you dare go if you were invited to explore the unknown?

Ceramics and mosaics by Donna Ritchie.

Wire words written by Chris Hall.

Copper wire twisted by Donna and Chris.

Wire word text placed in the Lightbox Gallery reads as follows:

Nobody looks in the shadows

they assume that nothing is there

But look close into the shallows of dark

and something is shining, blinking, aware

Presented by Henrietta Manning

An installation of paintings and text exploring the meaning, connections and value that can be placed on an object. Shoes.  From ancient superstition, fantasy and Cinderella, shoe fetishism and fashion, shoes mean many things to many people. Shoes hold memories, reflecting back moments in time of our footprints on earth.

References to shoes and feet permeate our language. To ‘’start off on the right foot’’ has come to mean to make a good start at something, but go back further and you will discover it was considered unlucky to put on your left shoe first. The phenomenon of shoes hidden in fireplaces, walls, under floors and in roof spaces is documented, if not fully explained. A practice thought to ward off evil or possibly to ensure fertility and happiness. The oldest shoe was found in Winchester Cathedral dating to 1308 and many are in private homes. These superstitions were brought to Australia by immigrants and the artist has worked from shoes loaned to her and even found under her properties historic apple packing shed.

A shoe can be practical, or an expression of stature, an extension of personality and individuality. A well-worn shoe carries the imprint of its owner. From your first to your last shoe, they can connect you to memories of places, times and people. The shoes of the deceased can be highly emotive and difficult to part with. ‘Cynthia I’ was painted in memory of the artists mother in the expectation she would then be able to let go of her mother’s shoes, she still has them!

It is both fascinating and horrifying the obsession and money spent on shoes, from Imelda Marcos’s personal collection, brand trainers, to collectors of the shoes of the famous or the excess of the 2018 Passion Diamond Shoes (USD 17 million made from diamonds and gold). Paintings from life of those hidden dark dusty mysterious shoes found secreted in and under buildings will contrast with the bright and shiny footwear abandoned in opportunity shops with which some have tortured their feet. When considering the ramifications of our footprint/lifestyle on the planet it would be pertinent to consider the waste generated by the fashion industry.

What do shoes mean to you?

Presented by Tasmanian Ceramics Association

A snapshot of ceramicist the late John Watson (d.2017), revealing his distinctive architectural style of handbuilt and  slipcast sculptural forms, often raku fired.

The Tasmanian Ceramics Association’s concurrent exhibition in Off Centre’s Microgallery  (featuring John’s forms) is to establish a legacy fund in John’s name.

John Watson was a builder in various guises for much of his adult life, only taking up ceramics in his 60’s.

A fair amount of mudbrick building led him to clay. A two-year Ceramics Diploma course in Canberra (2000/2001) and – on his return to Tasmania – a part-time job as the ceramics technician for TAFE & Adult Education.

As John honed his slip-casting and hand-building skills, he developed a unique style and began selling a range of work through the artists’ cooperative, Off Centre.

John’s keen interest in ceramics manifested itself in many volunteer roles. He was a much valued and committed member of the TCA, serving as President for a time and the driving force behind many activities – especially his popular raku workshops.

John’s strong architectural forms revealed his keen sense of design, winning him many awards at TCA exhibitions, and a dedicated fan base.

John was a much loved and well-respected teacher and colleague who gave his knowledge and time generously. John’s sudden passing in 2017 was a huge blow to the ceramic’s community.

The LIGHTBOX exhibition is a tribute to John, showcasing a collection of his work, photographs of him in the studio, at workshops, and his creations.

Following John’s death, the TCA committee decided to create a legacy fund to commemorate John’s significant contribution to Tasmanian ceramics. A programme of workshops was developed whereby students and colleagues who’d worked alongside John were given the opportunity to work with casts of his iconic forms. Several new and vibrant sculptures emerged – prompted by his architectural forms. Participants were encouraged think differently and experiment with unfamiliar materials and techniques. John’s touch is present in each of the art works created. Amazing echoes reverberate through the exhibits as familiar elements are reimagined and made new.

Creations from these workshops are presently on show in Off Centre’s Microgallery, in two parts – October 6th-19th and the 20th October until November 2nd.

Thanks to all the artists who have generously donated their time and artworks. The proceeds of sales will go towards funding future projects in John Watson’s name.

Presented by Stitching and Beyond Inc

A wonderful display of colourful and creative birds created by members of Stitching and Beyond to herald the coming of our Biennial Out of Hand exhibition.

Every two years Stitching and Beyond hold an exhibition to showcase the wonderful work of its member textile artists. Stitching and Beyond is a diverse group of textile artists exploring innovative approaches to textiles, fibre and mixed media arts. The Out of Hand exhibition is inclusive and open to all Stitching and Beyond members, whether they be professional or amateur artists.

Leading up to the Out of Hand exhibition, Stitching and Beyond create a themed display for the LightBox to help promote the exhibition. In 2023 the theme is Birds. This theme came about because many of our members were creating such beautiful birds and we decided that they needed to be displayed. The birds and nests on display are created from a variety of techniques and materials. Many are made from recycled fabric and other materials.

Step into the mesmerizing world of Tasmania’s Colonial and Federation period, where art, history, and symbolism intertwine to shed light on the aspirations, and interactions of individuals during a transformative era of exoticism, identity quest, and societal change..

Delve into the emotions and aspirations of Tasmania’s residents during this transformative era, where  the allure of the unknown opportunity were intertwined with the quest for a distinct Australian identity. Through a fusion of art, history, and symbolism, this exhibit sheds light on the complex lives and interactions of individuals during a time of great change.

Dominating the space is a sketch of an 11 metre tall Palm tree (Canary Date Palm Phoenix Canariensis), standing as a symbol of the allure and mystique associated with the faraway colonies. These non-native Palm trees, thriving amidst Georgian and Federation buildings, evoke a sense of foreign aesthetics that captivated the imaginations of European observers. Planted over a century ago, likely from seeds sourced from the Botanical Gardens, they now embody the visions of those who meticulously tended to them. At the base of the Palm tree, a collage reminiscent of 19th-century wallpaper depicts exotic motifs that were popular during that period.

An architectural marvel featured in this exhibition is the Trinity Chapel building in Brisbane street Hobart, which witnessed multiple transformations—from army and convict barracks to a prison and court. This structure exemplifies the aspirations of many to create an ordered and refined life in Tasmania, even amidst the chaotic and occasionally violent circumstances. Nestled amidst the breathtaking natural beauty and Georgian elegance, Trinity Chapel becomes a poignant symbol of the pursuit of a better future.

Beyond the realm of history and architecture, the exhibition hints at themes of choice, personal relationships, growth, and identity. It acknowledges the role of tourism in shaping Tasmanian society, where early settlers embarked on leisurely trips up the Derwent River to New Norfolk, basking in the scenic vistas and embracing a sense of relaxation. The closure of Port Arthur in 1877 propelled it into a popular tourist destination, solidifying the long-standing connection between tourism and places of suffering. This fascination with dark tourism, prevalent in Europe until the late 1800s, persists today, with ghost and prison tours captivating audiences worldwide.

Tourism allows for contemplation of the built and natural environment, fostering a deeper understanding of the past and shaping individual and collective identities. It becomes a lens through which social structures and hierarchies are observed and evaluated. Drawing inspiration from the grand European tours, originally undertaken by idle aristocrats but later embraced by the middle and upper lower classes, tourists partake in customs and acquire “relics” that define their experiences. These judgments manifest through clothing choices, accents, manners, and the depth of engagement with the surroundings.

The exhibition also explores the phenomenon of artefact and memento collection, an enduring tradition in tourism that continues to resonate worldwide. However, this practice has led to the depletion of natural resources, such as shells on beaches and historic convict bricks, and the influx of low-quality imported products, diminishing the significance of genuine artefacts. Amidst this discussion, a group of ambiguous figures symbolises the complexities of human interaction and affections, inviting viewers to reflect upon the intricate dynamics at play.

The term ‘black swan’ meaning an unlikely or impossible occurrence is used here

As part of this experience, the exhibit  offers a little Trinity Chapel paper model, following the tradition of tasteful tourist mementos, these provide an opportunity for reflection on one’s journey and make perfect gifts for those who were unable to attend the exhibition but wish to capture its essence. Available for renowned French Loire Valley castles and major European cathedrals, these educational and portable keepsakes offer a tangible memory of a visit to Hobart Town.  

References:

“Tourists” by Lucy Lethbridge

“Hobart Town” by Peter Bolger

“Van Diemen’s Land” by James Boyce

Materials: Cartridge paper, watercolour, transparent film, LED lighting 

Model kit available at Miss Bond Salamanca and National Trust Penitentiary Chapel Site Campbell. Street Hobart $22