Tag Archives: Tasmanian

The Max Angus 1990 exhibition

A few weeks ago I added a couple of posts to this blog about an art exhibition by the late renowned Tasmanian artist Max Angus titled Aspects of the Derwent from the source to the sea.

I did not have a copy of the exhibition catalogue and encouraged any reader who had a copy to let me know.  I imagined the publication would contain only a list of the names of each work of art and the price and not contain photographs, nevertheless I did believe reading it would be instructive. I hoped to learn the locations which Max Angus painted along the Derwent River.  Unfortunately a copy of the catalogue has not surfaced.

Since then I have been working through microfiche at the State Library of Tasmania looking at The Mercury newspaper hoping to find a review of the exhibition.  From Googling I knew the exhibition’s title and the year – 1990.  Thankfully that information limited the search.  In addition, the watercolour painting, purchased from the exhibition by my friend’s mother, was dated October 1990. Yesterday I found the gallery list in The Mercury on the 6th October 1990 providing the information that the Aspects of the Derwent from the source to the sea exhibition was already open at the Freeman Gallery and would continue until October 22nd. Since the exhibitions at that venue typically lasted 14 – 21 days, probably the show opened around the 5th October.

With continued research I was fortunate to find the exhibition review in the Saturday Weekend Arts of The Mercury newspaper for the 13 October 1990. I was particularly interested to read a few of journalist Susan Leggett’s comments:

“This very large exhibition – 64 works in all – is a powerful, careful and stunning collection.”

“Angus has read and evoked the nature of the turbulent, dynamic entity …” when referring to the Derwent River.

“He has not only painted images  of a real river travelling along its course, but created a sort of separate reality for it – an extra dimension.”

“It is all well observed and stunningly translated.”

Aspects of the Derwent Anhus article.JPG

The image included with the article is of the painting Yachts on the Harbour. The friend mentioned elsewhere in this post, is an avid sailor on the Derwent Harbour.  I wonder whether she was out there that day when Max Angus painted this picture and her yacht is in the mix.

Last but not least, since the painting belonging to my friend’s mother was painted in October 1990, then the paint was hardly dry before being taken into the Gallery for hanging.

How to draw a forest

Many posts ago, I referred readers to the excellent online magazine Tasmanian Geographic.

The most recent issue contains an article which surprised me – a new topic for me, offering a new way of visualising the bush.  Paula Peeters has considered ‘How to Draw a Forest’. Her article made me realise that because of our perspective as we walk we never see ‘a forest’ at close range and we only ever see parts of the trees.  Of course this was obvious once it was pointed out. Now I am re-evaluating the way I look and think about our Tasmanian bush.

The White Lip or Whip Snake – more information

A couple of days ago a photo news story about a Tasmanian whitelip snake was published.

Immediately I recognised the snake in the photo as looking the same as the two I have seen on my walks and which I have discussed in a couple of recent posts. Now I don’t care if guidelines indicate my snakes were longer than the normal range and nor do I care that some people swear what I saw could not be a White Lip – I feel convinced about the identity as a White Lip. Next time I come across one in the wilds I will look for the white lip – but I am not hoping to see another.  This and the other two Tasmanian snakes are all venomous.

On the theme of snakes, while making a quick trip inland to walk a small ‘gap’along the Derwent during this past week, I saw hanging dead over a rural gate the largest fattest going on for two metres long black (which I assume was a Tiger) snake that I have ever seen.  Someone obviously thought this would amuse passers-by.  I decided not to photograph and publish the snake because I thought the image might frighten my friends and relatives who always worry for me when I am in the bush. I have never seen such a large snake in the Tasmanian wilds (although I have been up close and almost too personal with deadly King Brown snakes in the Northern Territory in northern Australia).

Update – identifying snakes

Recently I published the post Snakes Alive.

Today I have been informed that the snakes I saw in recent walks would not be the White Lipped Snake or Whip Snake because the size of the snakes I saw is too large; rather those I saw are likely to be juvenile Tiger or Brown snakes.  I cannot find any information or photographs showing or describing an immature snake that matches what I have seen.  Are there any blog followers who know their Tasmanian snakes?  If so, I welcome feedback.

Aboriginal history associated with Meadowbank Lake

Hydro Tasmania acknowledges aboriginal history was apparent in a cave that is now beneath the waters of Meadowbank Lake in central Tasmania.

In 1977, J Stockton wrote a paper A Tasmanian painting site which adds to the information provided by the Hydro.  The paper provides some background on the submerged cave and indicates that other caves exist with similar markings and ochre residues.

I do not know where these caves are and I wouldn’t want to visit and disturb them even if I knew their location.  Therefore, Chantale’s photo below, showing the north western end of Meadowbank Lake as it receives Derwent River water travelling downstream from Cluny Dam, is simply a picture of one part of the Derwent River system and it is not intended to relate to the location of the caves. I have included it simply to remind readers how part of Tasmania appears these days; that is, with all the signs of European settlement and land control.

IMG_3897Top of Meadowbank Lake.JPG

Derwent River Wildlife Guide

This booklet titled Derwent River Wildlife Guide, by Veronica Thorp and published in 2000, is a 73 page listing with colour photographs and basic information about all the environments, the flora and the fauna which can be seen at some point along the Derwent River. The booklet is available for loan through the Tasmanian State Library system.

I am sorry that my discovery of this information has come after I have walked so far – it would have been most useful for me to walk with this booklet from day 1 of the entire project. Having said this, there is only one photograph per item and a tiny paragraph of information so that identifying plants and fungi correctly would have been a challenge.  While some entries indicate a location where a plant could be expected, most do not have this information. I have a sneaking suspicion that the listings in the booklet may only cover the areas that I have walked which are easiest to access.  I suspect that intensive investigation of the Derwent River shoreline and general vicinity between Gretna and Lake St Clair might not have been studied so rigorously.

A Visitor Guide (http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=16546) to Tasmania offers a limited selection of animals and environments compared to the comprehensive catalogue available in the Derwent River Wildlife Guide.  The Visitor Guide covers all Tasmania which is much broader.

Personal Locator Beacon

When walking away from roads and settlements in our Tasmanian wilderness, the risks of injury or illness must be covered.  Mobile phone coverage does not necessarily extend into some remote areas and, even where it does, if a person takes a tumble or becomes sick then s/he may not know the precise location of the place where they are. Therefore, potential rescuers may not be able to locate the sufferer.  In addition, our Tasmanian bush can be so dense that someone walking 10 metres away won’t necessarily see or hear you; therefore an alternative more reliable technology is needed.

The internet offers many different types of useful technology.

The Personal Locator Beacon which I purchased locally in Hobart is a SPOT GEN 3 Satellite GPS Messenger. It has the essential S.O.S. function plus my SPOT offers tracking with a Google Maps interface, regular check-in messages to friends elsewhere, and a Help option where a friend or other personal contact can be alerted to come and provide assistance in a non-critical non-life threatening situation.  The lightweight SPOT weighs a tiny 114 grams, is a tiny pocket-sized unit and ruggedly constructed.

SPOT GEN 3

Once purchased, I registered my SPOT via an online connection so that in the event of my pressing the S.O.S option and needing urgent medical assistance, the GEOS International Emergency Support Coordination Centre will be able to respond. Once activated, they will get in touch with my key contact to determine if s/he knows additional information such as where I have walked from and where I am walking to (I guess that is just in case I don’t obey the important rule of staying where I am when I activate the beacon). My location coordinates and any other information are then provided to local response teams in whatever country or state is appropriate.

This is an expensive piece of technology including the registration charge.  However buying it is like buying car or house insurance. You buy it hoping you never need to use it.