Pattern Play has been a very successful TMAG exhibition, and a hardy group of Friends enjoyed some behind-the-scenes explanation of this fascinating show. Our members' function happened to coincide with two other noteworthy events: a short but violent rain storm and traffic gridlock through much of central Hobart. This probably explains why not all who had booked for this event actually made it - and many who did arrived looking bedraggled and somewhat frazzled with stories of prolonged travel time in miserable conditions. Some restorative refreshments soon got everyone's equilibrium back on an even keel, and we had a very enjoyable event.
Friends' Vice President Chris Thomas, on behalf of our absent President Julie Hawkins, welcomed members and introduced Andy Baird, TMAG's Acting Deputy Director (Audience Engagement), and Dr Catherine Byrne, Senior Curator of Zoology.
Andy Baird gave members an overview of the Pattern Play exhibition, and then members were split into two groups: one experienced the hands-on aspects of Jemima Wyman's Pattern Bandits, a Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) travelling exhibition, while the second group inspected Patterns in Nature, a TMAG exhibition, under Dr. Cathy Byrne's direction. After half an hour or so the two groups swapped so everyone could enjoy both exhibitions.
One of the highlights of this Friends' event was that it encouraged members to bring children and grand-children with them, and it was wonderful to see kids and oldies sitting down together at tables to play and let their imaginations run riot with the materials that formed an essential part of the exhibition.
Another highlight for members was to see how our own fund-raising activities had been put to great use in the presentation of the Bornemissza beetle collection within Patterns in Nature.
A number of Members expressed their great delight with this event, particularly as its hands-on element meant that it had a different feel from the structure of our 'normal' Members' nights. Having a number of children present also added to the interest of the occasion and we are hoping to be able to do something like this again in the future.