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  • 12 Sep 2017 9:13 PM | Anonymous

    A team of specialists recently completed an old-style ‘voyage of discovery’ on the RV Investigator, sampling animals living in the abyssal depths off the continental shelf on the east coast of Australia. Very little is known about the fauna from these depths (2500–4000m) and what is known is based on very old, patchy records from surveys a century ago. Dr Kirrily Moore, TMAG Collection Manager (Invertebrate Zoology), was one of the expeditioners, and she described her talk, Sampling the Abyss, as ‘a festival of weird fish, taxonomists, blogs and mud’: 

    ‘We experienced the highs of successful collection of samples from un-described species and very rarely collected species, viewing footage of live animals is an extreme environment and linking with live schools and researchers to spread news of our discoveries as they happened. We also experienced the lows of broken and lost gear, 2 am start times, bad weather and a LOT of mud!’

    Further links: the blog website https://www.nespmarine.edu.au/abyss-landing-page

    Tim’s summary of the voyage at https://theconversation.com/sludge-snags-and-surreal-animals-life-aboard-a-voyage-to-study-the-abyss-79924

    The priapulid worms got a good run on US late night comedy shows, for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPgVtWDljcU

    More event photos in the website photo album.

  • 23 Aug 2017 9:22 PM | Anonymous

    The Derwent exhibition explores Tasmania’s Derwent River system and its complex natural and cultural histories. This exhibition includes videos and photographs by Tasmanian artists David Stephenson and Martin Walch, along with several historic works on paper and panoramic photographs from TMAG’s collections.

    Our Friends event featured two distinguished TMAG speakers: Senior Curator of Art Dr Mary Knights, and Educator Richard Hale.

    More event photos in the website photo album.

  • 15 Aug 2017 9:27 PM | Anonymous

    Inscription and Place presents a poetic exploration of place, family and objects told through contemporary jewellery.

    During 2016-17, four Tasmanian jewellers worked with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Henry Baldwin Bequest collection on a project re-interpreting, reframing and contextualising history and memory through the jewellery object. Bequeathed to TMAG in 2008, the Baldwin Collection was the largest single donation in the museum’s history and contained among other things, jewellery, diaries, letters, books and small domestic objects which speak to the lives of the women of two of colonial Hobart’s leading families, the Manings and Knights.

    The resulting artworks fuse references to the forms and materials of objects from the collection with traces of the lives of the women and an overlay of elements from the artists’ own lives and connection to place.

    After an introduction by Senior Curator of Decorative Arts Peter Hughes, participating artists Alexandra Parish, Janine Combes, Sarah Jones and Sophie Carnell told us about the women who were their inspiration, and the process of creation, while we viewed their work.

    More event photos in the website photo album.

  • 03 Jun 2017 9:37 PM | Anonymous

    We listened to internationally renowned Tasmanian printmaker Milan Milojevic in conversation with Andrew Harper about his exhibition Wunderkammerama, presented by Dark Mofo and Clarence City Council.

    A wunderkammer — cabinet of curiosities — of prints, projections, dioramas and constructed objects inspired by the imaginary flora and fauna from Jorges Luis Borges’s The Book of Imaginary Beings (1957), giving form to ideas of homeland, memory and myth. Overlaid upon this inspiration was Milan's own experience of growing up as a first generation Australian, son of a Hydro worker. 

    Thanks to Clarence City Council and the Friends of Rosny Farm for inviting us to share this captivating evening.

  • 16 Oct 2016 9:47 PM | Anonymous

    Despite tempestuous weather conditions outside, a group of hardy Friends members and their guests enjoyed a wonderful introduction to the upcoming performance of Shakespeare's The Tempest at TMAG. Director Robert Jarman recounted how months of planning for the staging of the play in the basement of the Bond Store went up in smoke when he walked into the Central Gallery on the opening night of Tempest. From the moment he saw the space remodelled as Prospero's Library, that was where the play would be held -- the set was already in place. Minor logistical problems could be worked out as they went along.

    Accompanying Robert was designer Bill Dowd, who showed us two of the costumes: Caliban's, with its allusions to his fish-like character, and Prospero's cloak, emblazoned with maps of the known world. So newly minted were the costumes that Guy Hooper, who plays Prospero, had his first sighting of the cloak, along with the audience.

    Guy gave us one of the key speeches, while Fiona Stewart played guitar and sang. It was certainly a great teaser for the upcoming performances!

  • AGM

    29 Sep 2016 10:56 PM | Anonymous

    Fifty hardy members braved forecast stormy weather to attend the Friends AGM. Outgoing president Julie Hawkins presented a report on what the Friends have been up to during the past year. To read the President's Report, click here. 

    After the formalities, attendees heard an address by TMAG Director Janet Carding, talking about her first 18 months at the helm of TMAG, and offering some tantalising glimpses of what they are planning for next year. Suzy Cooper then presented an introduction to the Friends website, followed by a hands-on website session with Suzy Cooper and Andrew Ross.

    The new committee for 2016-2017 is:

    John Sexton, President 

    Christopher Thomas, Vice President 

    Julie Hawkins, Secretary 

    Noel Harper, Treasurer

    Gabrielle Balon, Committee

    Peter Black, Committee

    Jean Boughey, Committee

    David Coleman, Committee 

    Matt Spencer, Committee 

    Jane Wilcox, Committee

  • 20 Jul 2016 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    This was a busy night, with around 80 guests. We started off with a talk by maritime archaeologist Michael Nash, Manager Historic Heritage at the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service. Mike's illustrated talk covered shipwrecks right around the Tasmanian coast, dating from the Sydney Cove, which ran aground in 1797 in the Furneaux Group, to the Viola, uncovered by stormy weather just a few weeks ago.

    By coincidence, a story about the Viola appeared in the Hobart Mercury on the same day as our talk, featuring Mike's discussion of how the wreck was identified by analysis of the timbers which pinpointed construction to north America. Perhaps it was this timely exposure in the press that prompted some additional guests to attend.

    As always with our Friends audience, there were lots of questions for Mike. One enquiry centred on what divers do if confronted by a dead body among the wreckage. Mike answered that fortunately that has only happened once in his personal experience. Depending on the circumstances of the wreck, the cargo can endure for a long time. Sealed bottles have been recovered from a number of wrecks. Recently yeast from the Sydney Cove cargo was reactivated to produce a beer with an extremely long pedigree.

    We also took a walk through the Tempest shipwrecks gallery, with its magnificently lit collection of paintings and ship models. TMAG Senior History Curator Elspeth Wishart and model expert Michael Stoddart were on hand to chat with guests and answer questions about the exhibits.

    The TMAG Shop opened to give guests the opportunity to avail themselves of the 10% Friends discount on all items.

    Below: Artefacts recovered from the Brahmin (Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service)

  • 30 Jun 2016 4:36 PM | Anonymous

    On 23 June 2016 Dr Mike Pook gave a compelling talk about the various drivers that influence Tasmania's cllmate, leading to the changes in weather that we either endure or enjoy during the course of each day, or sometimes each minute. 

    Meteorologists use a wide array of acronyms and we became familiar with some of these in the course of the evening:

    -- ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation)
    -- SAM (Southern Annular Mode)
    -- IDO (Indian Ocean Dipole)
    -- MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation)

    Analysis of these various drivers culminated in a series of maps showing how the impact of each of the influences changes on a seasonal basis. The whole subject left the audience with an enhanced awareness of the baffling complexity of climatic systems, and increased admiration for the scientists who work to unravel the complexity, helping us anticipate what the future has in store for us.

    You can see more photos of the evening in our Photos section, or download the graphics from Mike's presentation here.

    About Mike Pook

    Mike Pook is an Honorary Fellow in CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and an Associate of the University of Tasmania. Prior to his retirement, he was a Research Scientist at CSIRO, working in the Seasonal Prediction and Climate Variability Group. He began his career with the Bureau of Meteorology in Brisbane in 1967 while completing a BSc at the University of Queensland. After postgraduate training in Melbourne, Mike worked as a weather forecaster in Perth and Port Hedland before moving to Pearce RAAF Base in 1971. A short stint in Port Moresby was followed by a four-year posting to RAAF Base, Point Cook, as meteorology instructor to Defence Force pilots. Mike then worked as a senior forecaster in Hobart from 1978 to 1985 and spent the 1983-84 summer at Casey in Antarctica. After completing a PhD at the University of Tasmania in 1994 he worked as an academic, science communicator and administrator at the Antarctic CRC before moving to CSIRO in 2002. Mike was ABC Tasmania’s TV weather presenter for approximately 18 years from 1985 to the end of 2002.

  • 28 May 2016 4:57 PM | Anonymous

    Image: Leva Saulis

    After World War II, thousands of migrant women from Britain and Europe arrived in Tasmania, and along with migrant men and children they were part of the largest number of free migrants to arrive in such a short period of time in the island state. There would not be many among us whose families have not included women from this migration, and as a society we are immeasurably richer for it.

    The Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women exhibition was based on stories collected by Dr Nicolá Goc, Researcher at the University of Tasmania. She used the women's snapshot photographs to assist them in recalling memories of their migrant experience. The exhibition was so much more than photographs framed on a wall. Whole rooms were created -- kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms -- complete with the treasures of a lifetime, the photographs sent back and forth to families across the years.

    Dr Nicolá Goc spoke to members about the process of putting together the exhibition, and gave us some insights into a number of women and their stories. In addition to showing us their precious photographs, Nicolá was able in many instances to let us hear snippets of their stories told in their own voices.

    After the talk we visited the exhibition in the company of Nicolá and Elspeth Wishart, Senior History Curator at TMAG. It was the kind of exhibition that's very hard to leave, and in the end we had to round up the last of the guests so that the museum could close for the night.

    Thanks very much to Nicolá and Elspeth for a wonderful exhibition and a night to remember.

    About Nicolá Goc

    Dr Nicolá Goc is a senior lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Tasmania. She is a feminist scholar with a commitment to better understanding the lives of women and the ways in which they use various forms of media in their lives. She has written widely about the media's representation of the 'deviant' female, exposing the ways in which the media demonises women. 

    The Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women Exhibition comes out of her research on post-war migrant women and an examination of the ways in which they use family photography as a form of social media. Nicolá interviewed more than 50 women in Tasmania over three and a half years for the project. The exhibition was made possible by a Tasmanian Community Fund Grant. 

    For more photos see the Photos section on our website. Thanks very much to Elspeth Wishart for photos taken at our event.

    Above, from left: Anne Tucceri, Nicola Goc and Helen Kalis.

    Above: Friends member Joy Smith absorbed in a photo album.

  • 19 Apr 2016 3:01 PM | Anonymous

    One of the most popular recent events for the Friends of TMAG took place on Thursday April 14 2016. Entitled Where Science Meets Art: The Botanical Illustrations of Rod Seppelt, members enjoyed a fascinating talk from Professor Rod Seppelt of the Tasmanian Herbarium, and a viewing of the current TMAG exhibition.

    After the usual refreshments upon arrival, almost 80 members were welcomed to the event by John Sexton, Immediate Past President of the Friends, who then introduced our guest speaker. Professor Seppelt  is one of Australia's most accomplished botanical illustrators and the exhibition presents a selection of his illustrations of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). The Tasmanian Herbarium holds an important collection of over 35,000 botanical specimens collected from Antarctica and the subantarctic islands. Many were collected by Rod himself, who participated in numerous expeditions to both polar regions and conducted research in these areas.

    Rod Seppelt's talk had two strands: firstly, he gave a brief but very entertaining survey of 4,000 years of botanical illustrations, beginning with the Sumerians and Egyptians, and then secondly he talked about his own career and how he had come to specialise in botanical illustration, particularly of mosses, liverworts and lichens.

    Rod talked to us about the processes involved and the differences between botanical art (the portrait of a plant) and scientific illustration (which combines both the portrait with all the cell and anatomical detail).

    This talk provided an excellent spring-board for members to then view the exhibition itself, and the success of this event can probably be best measured by the fact that many of our members found it difficult to pull themselves away from the exhibition when it came time to leave.

    Our thanks go to Professor Seppelt for his generosity and enthusiasm in making this such a successful event.

    For more photos taken at this event, browse the Photos section on our website. If you attended this event, chances are you will be in one of the pictures. Photography by Jack Robert-Tissot.

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