​Scott Sporleder, Matador
​Scott Sporleder, Matador
Travel Tip

6 Art Finds Around The Island

Kathryn Leahy
When it comes to contemporary art, Tasmania is no wallflower. A ferry ride to the unconventional art collection at Mona delivers on every level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover inspiring local art across the entire island. Here are seven art finds you may not have heard about.

1. Wrap yourself in something homemade

In the quiet little town of St Marys, tucked away in a converted service station, you’ll find Gone Rustic. Here, one very crafty up-cycler, Rita Summers, creates extraordinary mixed media art, fibre and textile creations from hand selected pre-loved vintage silk and lace, which she then eco-dyes with bark collected from her own property. Rita not only displays and sells her work, she also holds workshops and hosts exhibitions of the works of local artisans and travelling displays.

studio filled with rustic handmade art and craft
Gone Rustic
Gone Rustic Studio

2. Watch craftsmen at work

Be greeted by a distinctive Huon pine scent in a studio where creativity is encouraged, fun is harnessed and passion shines through in hand-finished timberwork. Craftsmen come to Wilderness Woodworks in Strahan to work and have fun and you’ll often see them working on something at a lathe, only to see it the next day on the shelves. Here you’ll learn about the salvaging and milling of Tasmania’s timbers, as well as watch and talk with wood turners and cabinetmakers as they work.

Gallery space with artwork and wood carvings on display
Wilderness Woodworks
Wilderness Woodworks

3. Find bespoke jewellery

Designer-artist, Knut Mueller is inspired by Tasmania’s rugged beauty. Born in Germany, Knut moved to Tasmania in 1982 and now lives in Binalong Bay making bespoke pieces of jewellery like the painstakingly made Love Tree. Most days you can catch him at work in his studio. When he’s not there, you’ll find him at local east coast beaches gathering inspiration.

handmade bespoke jewellery
Knut Mueller
‘The Love Tree’ handmade by Knut Mueller

4. Hit a local design hub

Drop into a design hub that’s promoted inventive Tasmanian designs to the world since 1976. Better still, they’re affordable enough to take home. At Design Tasmania in the centre of Launceston, browse the works of local Tasmania designers, and pick up a one-off platter or a Huon pine trivet for the table.

people browsing a wood design shop
Chris Crerar
Design Tasmania

5. Pick out an original painting

Trained in the techniques of the School of Den Hague, portrait and landscape artist Pieter Zaadstra has set up a showroom for his art in converted stables in the Tamar Valley. Peter earned his first national award in the Netherlands at age 10, before migrating to Australia where he adapted his techniques to the Australian light.  Set on 12 acres of serene native bushland, you can visit The Stables (by appointment) and enjoy works that are often on show around the world.

original paintings and artwork at Tamar Valley art gallery
Pieter Zaadstra
Pieter Zaadstra’s drying wall

6. Meet a maker on Church Street

In Geeveston, Makers on Church St is home to a vibrant, local artistic community. Artisans work from their studios in an innovative, interactive and colourful environment producing specialty treasures and gifts, including woodcraft using local Tassie timbers, children’s handmade clothes, art, and paper craft. In the gallery there’s a huge collection of paintings, Tasmanian timber furniture, handmade jewellery, and photographs and prints framed in Huon pine, sassafras, blackwood or myrtle. Also on Church St, but in the town of Ross, is Classwood, a craft and souvenir shop where you can pick up winter woollies and wood-turned bowls.

woman trying on scarves at Makers On Church Street in Geeveston
Chris Crerar

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