On the move

It is obvious, the local community is greatly attached to the Gallery at Stewart Street. I have been asked countless times why it needs to move. The saying goes, “if I had a dollar for every time I was asked.” The answer is quite simple. Undeniably, the Stewart Street Gallery is a striking building with outstanding features such as the vaulted ceiling, but it is severely lacking in the most practical aspects for an art gallery.

When receiving one recent exhibition, Play On: The Art of Sport / Ten Years of the Basil Sellars Art Prize, two of the crates did not fit through the door. To make matters worse it was raining. Unpacking crates on the street is not a good look at the best of times and is simply out of the question in the rain.

Stewart Street has no loading bay on the street frontage, let alone attached to the building. Delivery vehicles hope that there is an empty space out the front or risk a fine by parking in the bus zone. There are no amenities in the building and patrons are asked to use the public toilets outside. There is no storage and the entrance would be non-compliant by today’s standards. Unseen by patrons, is the cramped office environment that is either sweltering in summer or freezing in winter.

When I worked at the Gallery in 2009, a feasibility study was being undertaken for an extension. This was not the first study. Vast improvements have been made to the building, but not to the extent to resolve some of the fundamental requirements for a regional gallery.

The move to the paranaple arts centre in Rooke Street is a giant leap forward. Not only does it address the shortcomings of Stewart Street (access, climate control, storage, public amenities, etc.) it also results in significant gains in exhibition space – which is really all the patron should be concerned with. The patron does not want to know about loading bays…

Stewart Street has approximately 140 square metres of floor space and with the built alcoves out of ‘temporary’ walls, has approximately 70 running metres of running wall space. The new Gallery will have just on 300 square metres of floorspace and approximately 116 running metres of wall space.

In addition is a 60 square metre room we are calling the Creative Space. It is a serviceable space to conduct workshops, hold meetings or use an exhibition space if necessary.

I have the pleasure of wearing a hardhat and safety vest to undertake a fortnightly site-visit. It makes an arts and culture guy feel rather manly. Each time I visit the construction site I get a better sense for the space. Last week the walls were lined. Soon it will be painted throughout. Then the carpet, joinery and finishing touches.

We will open on Friday 2 November with the opening of Tidal: City of Devonport Art Award. I cannot think of a more appropriate exhibition. Tidal is a highlight of our calendar that brings some of the most interesting contemporary work from throughout Australia to public view in Devonport.

The exhibition responds to the theme of tidal coastal living, characteristic of our region. We will also be opening with an exhibition from our Robinson Collection. Our Curator Erin Wilson has been working diligently to collate a series of fascinating oral histories in relation to images from the Robinson Collection.

In Your Words: The Robinson Project contains over 100,000 photographic negatives capturing the social and commercial life in the region during the 20th century. It has opened this extensive collection to members of the Devonport community, who have explored the archive, selected negatives that resonate with them, and recorded oral histories elicited by these photographs.

In Your Words exhibition will bring together thirty photographs selected by nine members of the Devonport community, presented alongside oral history excerpts, both text and audio, through which they share their memories and stories of the region, in their own words.

I am looking forward to the move. It will bring together staff from our Gallery, Theatre and Visitor Information Centre into the one building and operation. It will result in a team of people capable of delivering unknown potential. The possibilities for the future look very exciting.

~ Geoffrey Dobson, Convention & Arts Director

Paranaple Arts Centre

Images:
Allan Francis, Baptist Church once; Art Gallery now 1987, from Homes of Devon 6: Open House, b&w photograph, DCC Permanent Collection, acc. 1987.029
Courthouse, Devonport, n.d. The Robinson Collection, R5844, DCC Permanent Collection
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National Youth Week 2017

This year Devonport Regional Gallery extended its National Youth Week programming after receiving funding from the Tasmanian Community Fund. This allowed the Gallery to offer a paid mentorship opportunity for a young person to develop event and project management skills.

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Reclaim in full swing. Photographer: Kelly Slater

The Sketchbook Project Exhibition, 31 March – 8 April

Across six weeks from the end of February, young people across the North West collected a handmade sketchbook to fill with their drawings, ideas and writing using pencil, ink, paint, charcoal, collage, pastel and more as part of the Devonport Sketchbook Project.

The Devonport Regional Gallery and their young members committee, The Droogs presented The Sketchbook Project Exhibition at Devonport LINC. A total of 88 sketchbooks featured in this public exhibition from 31 March – 8 April.

The Sketchbook Project celebrates and promotes young people and their talents in the North West, and provides a space for public viewing of their work.

Youth Rewind, 1 – 2 April

Free activities and workshops took place across the two days of Youth Rewind, including live music performances by young musicians and a community jam, meditation, yoga and dance workshops and sand art activities.

The focus of Youth Rewind was to promote positive wellbeing and for young people to socialise, exercise and learn coping mechanisms with their peers in a fun and relaxed setting.

Reclaim the Lane, 7 April

For its sixth consecutive year, Reclaim the Lane returned to Rooke Lane, Devonport, on Friday 7 April, 3.30–5.30 pm to an audience of approximately 700 people. The free event transformed Rooke Lane into a vibrant celebration of youth arts and music for all ages to enjoy.

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KT Hollywood with her work. Photographer: Kelly Slater

Burnie artist, KT Hollywood was this year’s resident artist and she created a new work in the lane. Reclaim the Lane also featured various art-making areas this year; a collaborative ‘Massive Mandala’ led by young, local artist Rachel Kumar, and a Zentangle class led by Launceston CZT, Michele Beauchamp. The popular event also featured the Red Turtle photo booth, a henna tattoo artist, face painting by the Droogs, performances by Mr Inferno and Jayden Mineur, and interactive stalls by youth service providers.

Outside Laneway Café there were also two musical workshops; a percussion workshop run by local musician Brad Von Rock, and a ukulele workshop, facilitated by young talent, Grace Maher. The space was popular with all ages.

A small Youth Market was established this year, focusing on giving young emerging makers and artisans a chance to sell their work.

Live music by young local performers entertained audiences throughout the event with performances by students at Geneva Christian College, Melinda Powell, Tia and Siobhan, Henry Rippon and Molly O’Brien.

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Photographer: Kelly Slater

For the second consecutive year, windows of local Rooke Lane businesses were also transformed by young people as they expressed their views and goals for the future, responding to ‘What I would like to change about myself”, ‘What I would like to change about Devonport’ and ‘What I would like to change about the world’.

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The Droogs at their stall at Reclaim the Lane. Photographer: Kelly Slater

Reclaim the Lane is organised by Devonport Regional Gallery and its young members, the Droogs, in partnership with Devonport City Council and Youth, Family and Community Connections. The event was jointly funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet National Youth Week funding program, YFCC and Devonport City Council.

It’s a wrap

Well not quite… the end of the year sees the Tidal Award Exhibition on show and receiving great feedback; the Tidal Artisan Street Market opens this Friday 9 December at 3pm and the inaugural Tidal Festival kicks off on the 23 January 2017!

Winding the clock back to the first half of the year, key works from each decade of collecting were presented in the Forty Year Survey of the DCC Permanent Collection exhibition; new paintings and studies by Anne Morrison attracted many visitors to the Gallery and the touring exhibition Katherine Hattam: Desire First provided visitors with the opportunity to view a survey of paintings and sculptures by this renowned Melbourne artist. Evening workshops were fully booked and school groups were inspired by these engaging displays, observing, writing and making art in the exhibition space.

Images (clockwise from left): Curator Emily Kennel speaking about 40 Years of Collecting; Katherine Hattam; install view Anne Morrison: Preservation and Loss

The cold weather did not deter visitors from visiting the Gallery while the Lyons Share exhibition was on display. Featuring photographs of the famous Lyons family made by the Robinson Photographic Business in Devonport, and items on loan from Home Hill – the Lyons’ family home, the exhibition engaged audiences on various levels. Some members of the public relayed fascinating stories about their contact with the Lyons family while others shared their memories of the famous couple attending events in Devonport. Alongside this exhibition was a display of prints from the DCC Permanent Collection presented in conjunction with the Print Council of Australia’s 50th Anniversary. A highlight of the exhibition was a series of prints by Bea Maddock [b1934, d2016].

The 2016 Solo Commission featured large scale B&W photographs and video work by North West artist Lisa Garland. After a huge opening night, the gallery continued to be filled with visitors captivated by the characters represented in Garland’s works – and of course, many of these characters came to view their life-size portraits. Our final touring exhibition for the year was the fascinating Shapeshifters: 3D Printing the Future where the public could witness a 3D printer in action and view the many applications for 3D printing including those used in architecture, building, medicine, furniture making and art. We were pleased to showcase seven emerging Tasmanian artist’s exhibitions in The Little Gallery and were encouraged by many of these artist’s enthusiasm and level of skills when presenting workshops.

Images (clockwise from left): 2016 Solo Commission artist Lisa Garland; install view The Lyons Share; Lisa Garland twilight tour

Punctuated throughout the exhibition program have been many great projects including Reclaim the Lane held as part of National Youth Week, Four 8 Film Festival, film-making workshops, PORTAL community photography project and exhibition; various art-making workshops and talks; Books + Art monthly discussions; early years and school programs and concerts. Outside the Gallery the Droogs completed a street art project on the laneway wall of Devonport Bookshop and participated in Make Your Mark at TMAG while DRG showcased items from the DCC Collection in Hobart on two separate occasions.

Images (clockwise from top left): Droogs mural at Devonport Bookshop; Drawn Home workshop participants; Four 8 Film Festival screening; Nick Parish Trio; 1, 2, 3 Create participants; education programs at the Gallery; Reclaim the Lane; Nightscape Photography.

Of course, the foundation for everything DRG presents is mainly constructed ‘behind the scenes’ and for this I wish to thank all of my staff for their input and commitment to the arts in 2016. With a few weeks left until the end of the year we hope to see you at the Gallery to view Tidal or perhaps we will cross paths at the Artisan Street Market this Friday. In the spirit of the festive season: have a safe and relaxing summer and we look forward to seeing you soon at DRG.

– Ellie Ray, Director

Droogs create street art for Devonport Bookshop

Over the last three months Devonport Regional Gallery’s young members, the Droogs have been working on the design for a new mural at the back of the Devonport Bookshop with street artist Katie Houghton-Ward (aka KT Hollywood). Katie and the Droogs started installing their work over the weekend, with many passers-by stopping to check out the progress and provide positive feedback.

Devonport Bookshop Mural, September 2016_DAY2-2.jpg

Devonport Bookshop owner, Tim Gott, invited the Droogs to create an artwork that covered the store’s back wall in an effort to reduce graffiti in the area. Under the mentorship of artist Katie Houghton-Ward, the Droogs have developed an artwork inspired by literature, fiction and fantasy.

The artwork has been drawn from the concept of a bookshop: a place which contains myriad fictional and non-fictional characters, landscapes and emotions, and a place that inspires and captures the imagination.

Each Droog has contributed something personal to the mural, either creating their own book cover, character or poem, reflecting something of themselves and the literature that inspires them.

The mural depicts a bookshelf with selected covers facing the viewer. Amongst the stacks of books and pages, characters come to life, as they do for any reader.

See the mural’s progress over the next two weeks as Katie and the Droogs complete the work.

L-R: Artist, Katie Houghton-Ward; Droog, Ashleigh Butler

Devonport Regional Gallery’s Droogs are a group of young volunteers aged between 15 and 30 who assist with a variety of arts projects and events in Devonport, namely Reclaim the Lane, Four 8 Film Festival and The Sketchbook Project. New members are always welcome and inquiries can be made at the Gallery.

Young people reclaim the lane

For its fifth consecutive year, Reclaim the Lane returned to Rooke Lane kicking off National Youth Week in Devonport on Friday 8 April, 3–5 pm to an audience of over 500 people. The free event transformed Rooke Lane into a vibrant celebration of youth arts and music for all ages to enjoy.

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Launceston artist, Josh Foley was this year’s resident artist and he created a new work in the lane. Visitors throughout the day saw Josh in action as he created the work on the concrete retaining wall between Rooke Lane and Payne Avenue car park, completing it at 5 pm.

“Using abstract painterly motifs I will seek to imbue the area with colour, life, vitality and movement which are all celebrations of youth. As young people grow they seek to leave their mark and brighten up the world around them; by eradicating the drab grey of the concrete the work aims to represent this. The coloured motifs will also dance across the background in a musical way which eludes to the importance music has in the life of a young person as they seek to define themselves among their peers.” – Josh Foley

View a time lapse video of Josh Foley creating his work on YouTube here

Reclaim the Lane also featured various art-making activities including a collective colouring-in zone by Devonport Regional Gallery, Red Turtle photo booth, a henna tattoo artist and face painter, performances by Slipstream Circus, The Sketchbook Project exhibition and interactive stalls by youth service providers Headspace, Working it out, Mi Fellowship and Youth, Family and Community Connections.

Live music by young local performers entertained audiences throughout the event with performances by students at Geneva Christian College, Zac Weeks, Patrick Murphy, Josh Tomé and Molly O’Brien.

Windows of local laneway businesses were also transformed by young people as they expressed their views and goals for the future, responding to ‘Before I die I want to…’, ‘What I like in Devonport’ and ‘What I’d like to change about Devonport’.

Reclaim the Lane is organised by Devonport Regional Gallery and its young members, the Droogs, in partnership with Devonport City Council and Youth, Family and Community Connections. The event is jointly funded by the Department of Premier and Cabinet National Youth Week funding program and Devonport City Council.

Photographer: Kelly Slater

Painting with words

This is quite a timely post; firstly, we are halfway through our summer workshop program with another week and a half to go, and secondly we’re celebrating one year since our blog was created by the Tidal Festival’s Get Blogging workshop facilitator, Hilary Burden.

Today we wish to share some writing by young participants who attended the My Word poetry workshop with award-winning writer Kristen Lang on Tuesday 19 January, 2016. Participants Leo, Olivia, Eva, Eloise and Grace drew inspiration from works in our current exhibition 40 Years of Collecting: DCC Permanent Collection to create several original poems.

My Word (for young ones) - 19-01-2016-8

Here is a selection:

Happily playing a piece of music
Smiling, fingers moving, hearing metronome tick
Tiddy the cat comes in meowing softly begging for milk
Then she jumps on the bed beside me, not the silk!
– Olivia Yeates (age 10)

A cloud in my head hovering nowhere
When happy it rises when sad it falls and starts to rain
When angry its thunder and lightening
When frightened it gathers and
When pride it spreads.
– Olivia Yeates

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Image: Olivia (far right) reading a poem to the group.

An empty bed where the nurse awaits
To tell the family the dreadful fate,
For he died just today, with a stroke of pain
He toppled over on his cane.
Quickly he was tested
But unfortunately he’s rested.
– Eva (age 10)

When a small step breaks dismay will come
You fall off your path and stumble to find the right one
Then as hope disappears you see a bend
That leads you to the light at the very end.
– Eva

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Image: Eva drawing inspiration from the Homes of Devon series of photographs in the exhibition.

It looks dark and blank
It looks like the horizon of the water
The water is drifting off into the dark and black
Swampy water of the polluted sea
– Leo (age 8)

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Image: Leo pondering the work by Timothy Burns, The long night, the sound of the water, (1994, oil on linen)

As the forest of ferns sways in the breeze green as green
When the clouds turned grey
Then the sky turns bright
Then starts the fight
Lightning vs fire
Will the fight end no but only left the forest of ferns
Burnt as a crisp
As the clouds float away alas the forest of ferns black, dead and burnt
The forest of ferns is a mystery everyone will know about
As it will go down in history.
– Grace Fieldwick (age 9)

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Image: Grace drawing inspiration from Edith Holmes’ The Bluff Beach, Devonport (1930-35, oil on canvas board)

“The Magic Passage”
There is a house with a spa and people used to live there
There’s lots of ferns and vines and stuff that we have never seen
Behind the wall of vines and stuff there is a special door
And inside is a place where wishes come true
They say it’s all a trick
For long ago a man went there
He was friends to the people who lived there
So he’s still there well that’s what they say
Though I cannot tell you what happened to him
Cause it might frighten you
But just to be safe
Do not go in that place
For there’ll be a curse on you
So if you ever be rude
You’ll die
– Eloise Fieldwick (age 8)

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Image: Eloise finding a work to write about.

When the tide’s out

With the Tidal Festival now over for another two years, it seems almost silly to not continue the work started by the Get Blogging workshop participants in the launch of Devonport Regional Gallery‘s first blog. So, here we are four weeks later and at the end of another exhibition, the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014, toured from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, to share The Final – a collective short story written over the course of this exhibition at the Gallery by visitors and students.

Cameron Hindrum in the Creative NookWith the assistance of Launceston based writer, Cameron Hindrum, the collective short story grew and developed over the course of the exhibition, using the portraits as inspiration for character and plot development. And, on the final day of this fascinating exhibition, here it is… [image credits below]


The Final

             “Don’t wake your mother.”

Justin’s shadow paused in the half-light of the hallway. “I won’t,” it whispered.

“You off for a run?”

“Yeah. Coach wants us doing three kilometres a day.”

The shadow drifted backwards towards the kitchen door, and finally half of Justin appeared from the left hand side of the door frame. He was getting tall, his father noticed. He needed a haircut. In the early light, though, he still looked like a child, like the kid who’d chased the footy up and down the park all those years ago. He chased the ball for real now, Club Junior Champion two years in a row, Best on Ground in last year’s narrow grand final loss. Nick leaned on the kitchen bench.

Nikki Toole, The Last Season - Jake Toohey, 2013, digital print

“You going to do the loop?”

“Yeah. Twice if there’s time.”

“That’s nearly five kilometres.”

Justin shrugged. “Coach is meeting us on the oval. Gonna run with us.”

“Take a water bottle.”

“I’ll be right.”

“I wasn’t asking you.” Nick opened a cupboard next to his leg and pulled out a plastic bottle. He walked to the tap over the sink and filled it, screwed the lid back on, threw it across the room. Justin caught it cleanly, held it to his chest.

“I’d come with you,” Nick said, “but the knee, you know.”

“Yeah.”

“Off you go then.”

And the boy was gone, the doorway empty. Nick listened to the back door open and close carefully. He’d forgotten what he’d come into the kitchen to do. Justin wasn’t normally up so early. The game tomorrow was a big one, the Crows’ chance at consecutive grand finals, and the Coach wasn’t leaving anything to chance. He pushed the boys hard, and Nick knew Justin was up to it, but the team was more than his son and there were some inconsistent performers on the list. They should clean up the semi tomorrow but Nick wasn’t sure they’d take the Flag, and he didn’t want to be in the rooms afterwards if they lost two Grand Finals in a row.

Cups of tea—that was it.

Justin Aaron Spaull, The conscious unconscious, Saturday morning sleep in, 2013, digital print

He made two, one with sugar and one without, and carried them into the bedroom. Jen was still asleep and Tahlia had found her mother’s iPad, turned it on and was watching some cartoon or other. She had turned the sound down and Nick had to admire her courtesy, for a five year old. He set the sugarless tea down on Jen’s bedside table and took his outside to sit in the garden. He’d been there less than five minutes when his mobile rang. It was Justin. Nick pressed the green phone icon.

“What’s up?”

“We’re at the oval. Coach’s car’s here but we can’t find him. Some of the blokes are worried.”

“Tried his phone?”

“It’s off.”

“Rooms unlocked?”

“Don’t know. His car’s locked. His stuff’s in it.”

“Okay. Stay there, I’ll pop down.”

The oval was a five minute walk away, but Nick went back inside and grabbed his keys. Jen was still asleep and Tahlia was still glued to the small screen.

“Won’t be long,” he said.

*    *    *

            The old woman came slowly down to her fence. She could only move slowly these days, which suited her; there was nothing to hurry for. She pulled her fist out of her pocket, closed around a couple of sugar cubes, and held them out for the horse who lived in the paddock behind her house.

“Come, come!” She said quietly.

Grace Costa, Portrait of Minika, 2013, digital print            Obediently the horse wandered out, slowly muzzling its gentle face over the fence smelling out for sugar.

“Good, good.” The old lady said.

Distantly she could hear voices, over on the oval, people calling to each other, cars pulling up. She could see a hoard of boys standing around outside the clubrooms, talking to each other, arms crossed. She felt the moisture of the horse’s mouth on her hand, and watched the boys. Something didn’t seem quite right.

*    *    *

            Andrew stands in a void watching, waiting, thinking as traffic around, above rush by not even noticing he is there. What will his decision be? Which way will he go?

The lights play tricks on the water around him, his indecision worries him. How long can he stand there? How long can we wait for his mind to be made up? It will have to be forever for that is how long this picture will last.

Andrew M Lance, Andrew, 2013, digital print            “Good luck, Andrew,” the voice of his wife in his head rings over and over. She was referring to the semi-final game his local football tea, which he coaches, was preparing for this week. But was it luck he needed? His head swam. He was supposed to be at the oval now. The boys should all be there, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the water, and light from the early morning sun.

*    *    *

            Nick pulled up in the car park at the oval. Already there were fifteen boys standing around, making phone calls. He spotted Justin near the change room door.

“Hi,” he said. But his son was looking elsewhere, dazed by the sun and his own thoughts that had taken him quite to another place.

“Any word from the coach?” Nick asked.

“Nothing.” Justin replied. “The others think we should just start our warm-ups.”

Justin shrugged, looking to his Dad for an answer. Nick nodded.

But he was here and this was now. He shouldered his sport bag and went in to change.

*    *    *

            His grandmother wasn’t getting any younger – 88 but still holding up well and looking after the business. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to take that on – her death – her business – his life in different circumstances.

Tamara Dean, Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, 2013, digital print            Graham sat on the early morning train, heading out of the city. He was on his way to visit his grandmother to have one of those conversations he was beginning to dread – plans for her departure from this world. She was always so organised, which was one thing he always loved about her. But this was getting to be too much.

The train pulled into the last station on the outskirts of the city and Graham collected his things and started walking the four blocks to his grandmother’s house near the football oval. He had always loved this place as a kid, with all of its wide open space. But, today he certainly wasn’t feeling it.

  *    *    *

            Nick watched the boys run past each other on the well kept grass of the oval. In light of Coach Andrew’s disappearance, a longer run had been postponed, and instead the team were belting through some short power sprints, over twenty or thirty metres. Back and forth. They were focused on the job at hand, Nick noted with some pride—despite that morning’s distractions. He had agreed to stay and supervise. The boys were calling encouragement to each other, the sound sharp and percussive in the quiet morning air.

He tried Andrew’s number again. This was the fourth time. It was not turned off anymore—it had been earlier in the morning, when Justin had first tried. But no one was answering it either. Nick let it ring, listening to the muted tones in one ear and the boys yelling in the other.

“Yes.”

The voice surprised him.  He turned away from the running boys and focused on it, staring at a spot of peeling paint on the changeroom wall.

“Andrew?”

“Speaking.”

“It’s Nick here mate, from the footy club. The boys…ah, thought they were going for a run this morning.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry I let them down.”

Nick didn’t like the sound of that. “Is…everything okay?” he asked.

“I’m not very well. I haven’t been for a while. I thought I was okay about it all, but I don’t think I am.”

“Oh.” What were you supposed to say to something like that?

“I’ve been stupid. I’ve tried to carry on as if nothing’s wrong, probably hoping I could convince myself and everyone else that it will be. But it’s not working and I need to have some time out.”

“Mate, take all the time you need. You know we’re all here for you. Me and some of the other blokes can keep the boys in shape for next weekend.”

“That’s very reassuring.”

“Yeah no worries at all. You just take care of yourself, okay?”

“I will. Thank you for being understanding.”

“Righto. Chat soon.”

Andrew ended the call and placed his mobile phone carefully on the ledge beside his foot. He loved this view—everything stretched out in front of him, to the horizon, and it all seemed so balanced. He had walked to this bridge from the oval that morning, taking over an hour to reach it, and realised as soon as he got out of his car that he couldn’t be responsible for the team any more, that he needed to take care of himself. So he’d started walking.

He took a deep breath. He could hear traffic sounds getting fainter, the air getting cooler. He really liked here. Everything seemed balanced. He might stay for a while, floating above the traffic, breathing carefully and not moving.

*   *   *

            Graham had reached his grandmother’s gate. Her front door was open, as usual, but she did not respond when he called for her. Instead of entering the house, he walked around the outside, reasoning that she would be at the back fence, stroking the long nose of the horse in the paddock. And there she was, slightly stooped, leaning on the fence, touching the horse with such love and patience that Graham stopped and watched. He realised that what he had come to talk about didn’t matter anymore. He could not remember the last time he had sat down with this brave, faded old woman and just chatted to her. She was reasonably healthy for her age. There was no hurry. There had never been a hurry for her, Graham realised. It was the rest of the world that was always in a hurry, moving on, changing, day bleeding into day.

He was as guilty of it as anyone. His grandmother hadn’t said anything to him yet but he was telling him something very clearly. Just stop. There’s always time.

He left his black leather folder on a seat by the back door and went in to put the kettle on, and to look for some more sugar cubes.

 *  *  *

            Nick gathered the boys around for a talk after they’d finished training, the rest of which had comprised a few laps of the oval and some marking and tackling drills. They were grinning and sweaty, laughing and mucking around.

“Sorry this morning didn’t quite go how you’d planned,” he told them. “Coach has been on the phone to me. He’s okay but things have been getting a bit much for him and he’s decided he needs a bit of a break. Timing’s not brilliant but it’s what he needs to do right now.”

“When’s he comin back?” asked Taylor, the hulking ruckman.

“I don’t know to be honest. Certainly won’t be this season.”

Nick caught the sideways glances, the jostling. He put his hands up.

“Settle down, lads. It can’t be helped. We’ve still got a game to win and we’re going to win it. You need to keep working with each and digging deep. Do it for yourselves and do it for your Coach.” A light flutter of nods rippled across the pool of heads in front of him. “Andrew’s bought you this far. So close. Ask yourselves how bad you want it, because if you want it, you can take it and no one else on that footy field can stop you! Now go and clean up and head home.”

Justin lingered as the others dawdled into the change rooms to hit the showers. “What’s wrong with Andrew?” he asked quietly. “Will he be okay?”

“He’ll be fine, mate, don’t you worry.” Nick patted his son on the arm. “Go on, get in there.”

He watched the boy, an inch taller than him now, walk way and vanish in the shadow of the change room door. He didn’t need to know anything other than that. Not at his age. Not when there was a game to win.

THE END

 *  *  *

Image credits [top to bottom]:

  1. Nikki Toole, The Last Season – Jake Toohey, 2013, digital print
  2. Justin Aaron Spaull, The conscious unconscious, Saturday morning sleep in, 2013, digital print
  3. Grace Costa, Portrait of Minika, 2013, digital print
  4. Andrew M Lance, Andrew, 2013, digital print
  5. Tamara Dean, Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, 2013, digital print

Final day

It’s the final day of the Tidal Festival, and what a week it has been! I’m sitting at my work desk at Devonport Regional Gallery listening to the sounds of the Tidal Festival choir bringing together music for their performance at the Final Hurrah later this afternoon – all within the space of this two hour choral workshop.

Over the Festival I received many comments from returning workshop participants concerned about my health and possible lack of sleep with daytime and evening workshops and events filling my calendar – but, I must say that whilst my sleep has been interrupted by an active mind and busy schedule, the Festival week has been an absolute blast! We have had a fabulous line-up of workshop tutors and presenters, which has left me proud and also inspired! I hope you have been too.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Tidal Festival this year.

Dianne Sheehan
Education & Public Programs Officer at Devonport Regional Gallery

Here’s a snapshot of my week:

Setting up the Tidal Zone with artist-in-residence Marcus Tatton, Wednesday 28 January
Setting up the Tidal Zone with artist-in-residence Marcus Tatton, Wednesday 28 January
Coloured Waters workshop with Sandy Michell, Tuesday 27 January
Coloured Waters workshop with Sandy Michell, Tuesday 27 January
Children's workshops at the Tidal Zone
Children’s workshops at the Tidal Zone
Marcus working on his sculptures, Mersey Bluff
Marcus working on his sculptures, Mersey Bluff
The Tidal Zone with Marcus Tatton
The Tidal Zone with Marcus Tatton
Me in one of Marcus's 'Seaspores'
Me in one of Marcus’s ‘Seaspores’
A 'spy hole' from Marcus Tatton's Seaspores at Mersey Bluff
A ‘spy hole’ from Marcus Tatton’s Seaspores at Mersey Bluff

Devonport Regional Gallery – I am a fan

The longer I spend on the Coast, the more I am impressed with the team at Devonport Regional Gallery. Their philosophy, branding (that yellow!) exhibition and educational programs are all equal to any I have seen and I am so proud to have them as my local regional gallery .  This year’s TIDAL award and finalist exhibition is a case it point. The award attracted over 250 entries and the quality of the finalist exhibition, which is still running in the gallery, is fantastic.  I was so impressed by all the finalist including those highly recommended, Liam James and Troy Ruffels, as well as the winner, Joel Crosswell for his work Galaxias. If you haven’t seen it yet, take the time to do so before it closes on the 1st of February, 2015.

I have attempted to be involved in everything I can that the gallery is doing.  Attending openings being my main occupation but at the end of last year I attended the ‘Photosmart’ workshop on smart phone photography with my Mum which was great fun.

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This year has started with a full line up thanks to the TIDAL Festival which is currently happening. I have already participated in two of the TIDAL Festival’s workshops in the first two days, (I would love to attend them all but I am not sure I will quite manage that).

So far I have participated in the ‘Coloured Waters’ watercolour workshop at the Sound Shell, The Bluff, with local artist Sandy Michell. There we spent two hours in beautiful sunshine playing with water and pigment as Sandy encouraged us to let the water paint the image rather than restricting the pigment with the stroke of our brush.

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Last night I was one of the 20 who attended the ‘Get Blogging’ workshop with Hilary Burden and enjoyed the group process, the opportunity to focus my attention on how I can improve my own blog and hearing from someone who has been blogging successfully for many years.

Tonight – its the ‘Forum: Coastal Conversations’, and I am really looking forward to hearing more about our local marine environment, of which I know very little despite thoroughly enjoying it, and how this may influence my own artistic practice.

So you can see I am thoroughly enjoying my local art scene – thankyou Devonport Regional Gallery.

Last night’s Get Blogging workshop

It was a lively workshop with nearly 20 participants, both new to blogging, and savvy. They came to “Get Blogging”: learn blogging basics,  improve their style, and explore various creative writing techniques to get the most out of blog posts. Held in the inspiring Devonport Regional Gallery hung with works from the National Finalists Exhibition. The Tidal People’s Choice Award will be announced on Sunday at the Gallery, 3-5pm.  Join us for nibbles and come back here to find out what our bloggers will write about next…

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