Here at Freycinet Resort, we love to support Tasmanian artists.
As you explore the resort, you will discover a diverse collection of sculptures and art installations that we have commissioned for the site. We invite you to take a leisurely stroll along the dedicated 2.7km art trail where you can engage with the artworks and enjoy the spectacular backdrop of ocean and mountain views
Beyond the gates of Freycinet Resort, you will find plenty more art to enjoy. Tasmania has a thriving creative community and even the smallest towns often have a selection of shops and galleries that are run by local makers and craftspeople.
Whether you’re looking for a large Aboriginal painting to hang on your living room wall; a small handmade souvenir to take home for friends; or simply to admire the work on display at a local gallery – we’ve rounded up some of the best art experiences in Tasmania.
In the south of the state, most attention is focused on the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), and not without good cause. It’s a genuinely world-class collection of international artefacts and contemporary art. MONA also hosts regular events and two annual festivals – MONA FOMA in summer, and DARK MOFO in winter.
However, it’s worth looking beyond the MONA program to see what else is scheduled during your time in Tasmania. Smaller galleries in Hobart and beyond offer an eclectic range of innovative, multidisciplinary programming. Moonah Arts Centre, Birch’s Bay Sculpture Trail, Salamanca Arts Centre and Rosny Barn are all worthy of a visit.
The city of Launceston in the state’s north is also a vibrant hub for arts and culture. From the thoughtful, careful curation at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG), to the artist collective Sawtooth ARI, and the incredible shop and exhibition space at Design Tasmania – home to Australia’s only collection of contemporary wood design – you’ll find plenty of distinctly Tasmanian creativity on show.
The rugged nature of Tasmania’s north and north west must provide a special kind of inspiration for the artists who live there. Who knows whether it’s the unfiltered light, the absolute silence, or the abundance of breathtaking scenery that encourages creativity… Whatever the catalyst, these more remote regions punch well above their weight when it comes to artistic endeavours.
The paranaple arts centre in Devonport is a multi-purpose performing arts and events venue where you’ll find the Devonport Regional Gallery. They showcase established and emerging local artists as well as touring exhibitions, and have expanded their activities to include a biennial festival called Tidal.
On the west coast, the former mining community of Queenstown is fast developing a reputation for creativity, with enormous artistic energy focused on the biennial Unconformity festival. And even in a part of Tasmania as wild as Cradle Mountain, you’ll find an opportunity to enjoy the work of local artists. The Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery is dedicated to sharing Tasmanian stories – through photography, film, murals and paintings. There’s a wonderful shop full of Tasmanian art, crafts and products – and if you’re feeling inspired you can even have a go yourself. Settle down on a seat in The Drawing Room to sketch, draw or write your own story, before adding it to the visitor’s gallery.
Now… we may be biased, but we believe some of Tasmania’s best art and artists can be found right here on the East Coast. As you wind your way along the Great Eastern Drive, make sure you leave time to stop and explore some of the smaller galleries and shops where local craftspeople and makers sell their pieces.
There is Spring Bay Studio and Gallery at Triabunna, Artifakt in Swansea (where you can also enjoy a coffee and snacks in the cafe), Earth Land and Sea Art Gallery in Bicheno, Kings Fine Art Gallery at Dolphin Sands and Suncoast Gallery at St Helens – to name just a few!
The best way to discover Tasmania’s hidden art treasures is to get out and explore. Stroll through the towns and villages, follow the signposts down barely-there gravel roads, and keep your eye on local papers, websites and social media accounts in the weeks leading up to your trip. You never know what you might find!
For help planning your trip, you can also check out the Tasmania Arts Guide for details of all the state’s galleries and venues, along with a calendar of upcoming events.
-Ruth Dawkins ( commissioned by Freycinet Resort)