Meander Valley Gazette

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Deloraine’s three literary divas

ArtsJoanne Eisemann
L-R Isabel Shapcott, Pearl Maya and Heather Ewings all had their work published as part of Tasmania’s ‘People’s Library’ project

L-R Isabel Shapcott, Pearl Maya and Heather Ewings all had their work published as part of Tasmania’s ‘People’s Library’ project

DELORAINE WAS well represented in the People’s Library project. Three local writers were chosen out of the hundred statewide to have their work published as part of the project. A range of genres was represented from fiction to reference to poetry, all written, and donated, by Tasmanian writers.

Isabel Shapcott revisited folk fiction. Heather Ewings’ book is speculative fiction and Pearl Maya wrote a collection of short stories. “It is a great chance for a wide variety of Tasmanian voices to be heard,” commented Ms Ewings. “Some books were written by people who are avid writers, others by people who were writing their first.”

The launch was held in Hobart, and the Library project remained on display for a month that included public readings and discussions as well as being a space for the public to come and browse. “Being commercially published in Australia can be really challenging,” added Ms Shapcott, “and this was a great opportunity for people to contribute a book that didn’t have to fit into a commercial stereotype.

Everyone has a story to tell and this was the chance to do just that.” There were over 180 projects offered to the People’s Library and the list was whittled down to 115, 15 more than the project organisers originally planned. Not available for sale, the entire collection of books will be available for loan through the Launceston and Hobart libraries.

Photo | Mike Moores

The world of macro

ArtsJoanne Eisemann
Fairy Helmets by Jade Hallam.

Fairy Helmets by Jade Hallam.

FOR THOSE who have been enjoying the short walk photos in the Gazette each month by Jade Hallam, you may be interested to pop into Pixels Gallery during November to check out her equally inspiring series of macro images. Jade loves to photograph flowers, but fungi are her favourite. From May to August she is always on the lookout for an interesting specimen. World of Macro, Kooparoona Niara, is on show daily for the month of November at Pixels Gallery in the Deloraine Online Access Centre.

Photo | Jade Hallam

Twelve Times He Spoke

Arts, EventsJoanne Eisemann
Actor Guy Hooper performs.

Actor Guy Hooper performs.

A THOROUGHLY Tasmanian play written, performed and directed by three Tasmanian men, will come to Deloraine’s Little Theatre on the 15th November. Twelve Times He Spoke is a one-man play written by award-winning Irishman Finegan Kruckemeyer, who moved to Hobart in 2004 and has had 86 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into six languages. His work has enjoyed seasons in 200 international festivals, including at the Sydney Opera House.

The play’s only performer, Guy Hooper, moved to Hobart with his family in 2007 and has appeared in many productions there including plays for the Tasmanian Theatre Company and Blue Cow Theatre. Director Ben Winspear is the only one of the three born in Tasmania. Married to actor Marta Dusseldorp (Janet King, Jack Irish), the two have become a power couple of Australian theatre, performing together in TV’s A Place To Call Home and on stage in Scenes From A Marriage.

Twelve Times He Spoke premiered at the Theatre Royal in June this year, telling a man’s story through 12 speeches. It begins simply enough, mapping the twists and turns of one man’s unremarkable life. But the course he has charted is not the one that unfolds and he ends up in places – some quite dark – that were never part of his plan.

The play, commissioned by Guy Hooper, Blue Cow Theatre and Tasmania Performs, has been lauded. Hobart theatre director Robert Jarman said: “In just 75 minutes he conjures an entire life, encompassing some 50+ years of a man’s journey from boyhood to maturity.

It is a marvel of storytelling imagination, technical/structural proficiency and heartfelt compassion. “And beyond all that, it has something profound to say about the way we live our lives; about the direction our lives take, the choices we make, and how we cope when things go off the rails. It is actually a helpful play.”

Twelve Times He Spoke is presented by Arts Deloraine and is suitable only for ages 16+. 15th November, 7.30pm The Little Theatre, Deloraine, Cost: $25.00 adults, $20.00 Arts Deloraine members. Tickets: The Alpaca Shop, Deloraine; www.trybooking. com/yrxs

Photo | Tony McKendrick

Happy snappers

ArtsJoanne Eisemann

November 2018 | Haley Manning

THE MOLE Creek Photographic and Visual Arts Group have donated the $200 proceeds from their 2018 calendar to the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary. Member of three years, Keith Cole, said the notfor-profit Group enjoy their hobby while raising funds for a worthwhile cause in the community.

“We hope to make the donation to Trowunna a regular thing, as every little bit helps with animal conservation, “Keith said. The Photographic Group share a passion for learning and sharing, with a little bit of good-natured competiveness thrown in. They have regular outings in and around Mole Creek and ‘attend an ‘informal’ meeting once a month. New members are most welcome. Please visit them on Facebook for further information.

Statewide Youth Art Award

Events, ArtsJoanne Eisemann
Ellie Newland’s work entitled ‘Conflicted’ will be on show.

Ellie Newland’s work entitled ‘Conflicted’ will be on show.

October 2018

TASMANIAN YOUNG Artist Award. This State-wide award, financed by Rotary, offers the chance for talented young Tasmanians to exhibit their artistic talent to a wide audience.

Now in its 2nd year, the exhibition, to be shown at the Deloraine Creative Studios, will include works by 28 talented school children from years 7 to 12 which are their personal interpretations of this year’s theme of “Phases”.

The exhibition will be shown from the 1st to 30th November. Drop in and be surprised!

Timber given kiss of life

News, Events, Feature, ArtsJoanne Eisemann
Launceston’s Simon Ancher will be demonstrating the use of hydrowood at this year’s Craft Fair.

Launceston’s Simon Ancher will be demonstrating the use of hydrowood at this year’s Craft Fair.

October 2018 | David Claridge

THERE IS an intriguing display set for the Deloraine Craft Fair this November - expertly crafted wooden furniture and other items - and it’s intriguing because the wood comes from underwater.

Hydrowood has been salvaged from below Lake Pieman from the wild west coast of Tasmania and given to the creative hands of four selected craftsmen to present and answer questions at the fair.

Around 25 years ago, Lake Pieman was dammed to generate hydro-electricity and many rare trees were submerged and forgotten. They were rediscovered in 2012 and, with some ingenuity, they were harvested, brought to the surface and used. Deloraine Craft Fair Director Lesley Dare is looking forward to showcasing Hydrowood to Craft Fair visitors.

“Hydrowood is not about cutting down trees, it’s about rediscovered trees lost at the bottom of Lake Pieman.”

“Through the ingenuity of Tasmanians, they’ve invented this system where they can retrieve the timber.

“We’re showing the whole process from harvesting to crafting at the fair. Four of the top craftspeople in Tasmania have been selected to use the wood, show what they made from it, and host master classes. Craftsman Geoff Marshall has used Hydrowood to make a variety of furniture including a light, a chair and an ottoman.

“I was at university when they were first doing studies on the wood. That is when I first learned about it” he said. “I think it’s a great story of how the wood has been rediscovered and made available for us to use. It’s an amazing product.”

Another Craftsman, Toby Muir-Wilson, is working on nine illustrated panels.

“It will take about 4-5 weeks to complete them. I’m aiming to show a variety of ways in which you can texture and colour the wood,” he said. “It’s an interesting project to be involved in.”

One of the chosen artists, Simon Ancher, has been working with Hydrowood since the beginning. He will be looking for feedback on some benches he has worked hard on.  “I love the fact that we have a second chance to make good use of an amazing resource, a precious resource that was thought to be lost.

“I feel very fortunate to have visited the operation on Lake Pieman. It’s an inspiring part of Tasmania and for me as a designer/maker I feel the connection to place and material is strong.” Huon pine, Sassafras, Eucalypt, Celery Top and Western Beech are some of the special kinds of wood that have been discovered.

A brochure describes the quality like this: “Hydrowood has a purity. No rusty nails or bolts from a previous life. Instead, untouched grain. Not salvaged timber, long dead on a musty floor but rare timber Master Builders dream of.”

Photo | Mike Moores

Post penultimate paintings

ArtsJoanne Eisemann

October 2018 | Marguerite McNeill

AFTER A 3 year break Deloraine artist Ann Kearon will step back into the ring at this year’s Tasmanian Craft Fair to exhibit a colourful array of paintings punctuated by a palate full of P’s. Entitled the ‘Post Penultimate Painting Production of Pre-Modern Paintings’ by (Pauline) Ann Kearon, the retrospective collection of water colour paintings features a mix of floral studies and scenes from Tasmania, interstate and overseas. The exhibition can be viewed in Mrs Kearon’s home gallery at 25 Meander Valley Road Deloraine from 10.00am each day of the fair.

Art of fashion

ArtsJoanne Eisemann

DELORAINE DRAMATIC Society is getting into the spirit of Craft Fair by holding a Wearable Art Award & Catwalk Show at the Little Theatre. You can find entry forms on Facebook or call Tara on 0409 242 184. Entries close 29th October. Daily fashion parades at 11am & 2pm, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th November 2018.

Out of the pencil box

ArtsJoanne Eisemann
New resident of Meander Valley, Leonie Myer, at work in her studio

New resident of Meander Valley, Leonie Myer, at work in her studio


WHEN YOU first see the artwork of local artist Leonie Myer, you could be forgiven for thinking you are looking at a painting. Look closer and you realise that her detailed realism is created by humble coloured pencils.

Since arriving from Queensland a few months ago, Leonie has been inspired by Meander Valley’s abundant wildlife - a theme that will soon be making its presence felt through her art.

“I have been creating realism with coloured pencils for about 17 years and find them to be an amazingly versatile and portable medium,” Leonie said.

Leonie has spent years refining her technique and now produces artwork with such accuracy that it really does make you look twice.

“It can take over a hundred hours to produce a large artwork, blending and layering colour a section at a time to create a natural and life-like piece,” Leonie said.

Birds are one of Leonie’s favourite subjects and she has discovered such an abundant diversity in Meander Valley.

“Coloured pencils are not often associated with fine art and it’s time that perception was challenged. I have spent the last 8 years teaching coloured pencil techniques, sharing my skills and my passion for this humble medium and it has been very rewarding,” Leonie said.

Leonie’s art can be viewed at Deloraine Creative Studios where she has settled into her new workspace. For those that wish to learn more about creating a coloured pencil masterpiece, Leonie is holding an Introduction to Creating Realism with Coloured Pencil Workshop on Saturday 3rd November. All materials are supplied. For bookings phone 0408 010 188 or visit Deloraine Creative Studios.

Photo | Supplied

Exhibition of French style

ArtsJoanne Eisemann
‘Cosy Lamb’ by Steven French

‘Cosy Lamb’ by Steven French


FOR THE month of September a selection of photographic works by Steven French will be on display at Pixels, Deloraine’s digital art gallery located in the Deloraine Online Centre.

Steven French is a semi-retired Tasmanian farmer, photographer and writer. He lives at Whitemore, where his family have been farming since 1865. His grandchildren now make seven generations on the same property.

His photographic career began as a rural photographer working for mainly for Tasmanian Country and Stock and Land. During this time Steven’s photo captions kept getting bigger and bigger until he was writing more than photographing. He finished up being employed for several years solely as a journalist.

In 1978 Steve and his wife opened Reflections Photographic Studio which went on to become the largest photographic studio in the state. Steven is a former runner-up for the Tasmanian Professional Print of the Year Award and took out the People’s Choice Award in the same year.

In more recent times Steven has worked as a photographer/journalist/editor for several glossy publications. During the early 2000’s he was publisher/editor of Tasmanian Life Magazine. In 2010 he photographed and wrote the book Hand Made in Tasmania which was
on the state’s best seller list for several weeks.

Steven’s work has been published widely throughout Australia and overseas. He has had several solo photographic exhibitions and been part of group exhibitions on the mainland. His work has also been hung at the prestigious Menzies Gallery in Melbourne.

Photo | Steven French

Recital Rustica Romania

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | Sharon Webb

A FEAST of classical and European folk music performed by local musicians will be presented by Arts Deloraine at Gallery 9 on Sunday 26th August.

The star attraction will be Deloraine composer Bruce McNicol playing the premiere of his recently completed Left Hand Piano Sonata along with two more of his compositions, Two Nocturnes and a Waltz Macabre and Ten Conversations with my Mother (Elegy).

Mr McNicol said his compositions for piano will be the first of three of the concert performances featuring very different types of music.

“Concert goers will also be treated to a duet: Westbury’s Joanne Mitchelson on harp and Hamish Pike on violin,” he said.

“They will play several pieces from their extensive repertoire, including an original work by each, Plaisir d’amour by G. Martini, Heartstrings by Rolf Lovland and Butterfly, a traditional Irish tune.”

Finally, as a trio, the musicians will present the first performance of their new world music group Rustica Romania, with Bruce on piano accordion, Joanne on Romanian Pan flute and Hamish on violin.

“As the Romanians themselves do, this will be a mixture of folk music and such pieces as The Lonely Shepherd, written by James Last in 1978 for pan flute and Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms,” Mr NcNicol said.

The concert begins at 2.00pm; tickets are $20.00, $15.00 concession and Arts Deloraine members, and $10.00 for youth up to 16 years, available at the door or from the Alpaca Shoppe.

Photo | Wayne Enright

Bopping a la Bollywood

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | Wendy Laing

HAVE YOU ever thought about learning to dance Bollywood style?

The Deloraine Neighbourhood House now hosts Bollywood dance classes on Saturday mornings.

They are run by Pooja Thakkar Noshi, a professional Bollywood dancer who has been teaching this style of dancing for eight years.

Based around the popular Indian film genre, this type of dancing fuses classical Indian dance steps with folk, hiphop and free form.

“Bollywood dancing is suitable for all ages,” Ms Noshi said, “It is upbeat and energetic, and most of all fun to do.”

At present classes are held from 10.00 am to 11.00 am once every fortnight. You do not need special clothes; just track pants and a t-shirt.

The next classes will be held on Saturday, 11th August and Saturday 25th August 2018.

To learn more about this style of dancing, or if you wish to attend a class, please phone Pooja on 0475 608 062 for further information.

Photo | Mike Moores

Life on the farm on show

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

August 2018

POP INTO Pixels, Deloraine’s digital art gallery during the month of August to check out a selection of rural images ranging from farm animals to magnificent rural panoramas by Joanne Gower.

Now living in North West Tasmania, Joanne has taken photographs all over Australia and completed formal photographic studies in Canberra.

“Rural images are my passion and capturing the history of a family, and the generations, the people, the house, the surrounds, the animals and the feeling of a place is very important to me,” said Joanne.

Photographer for the Celebration of Farmers publication, produced as part of last year’s Creative Ageing Festival, Joanne has also exhibited her works at the High Court in Canberra as well as winning a number of art show prizes.

Pixels Digital Art Gallery is located in the Deloraine Online Centre at 21 West Parade, Deloraine. It is open from 10.00am - 4.00pm weekdays and from 10.00 - 1.00pm on weekends.

A wealth of rustic riches

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

JULY 2018 | Lorraine Clarke

RHETT PANIZZA is a man on a mission. He wants to put his rustic industrial and farmhouse furniture in your house. It is not the kind you will find at local chain stores, but that’s OK, because he is catering to individuals who will fall in love with special items that can’t be found, or even imagined, anywhere else.

“Our furniture is not going to appeal to everyone, but gives people another option from buying mass-produced stu‚ff,” says Rhett. “We work on the imperfection rule. It’s a bit wrinkly, but it still works.”

The impressive collection is showcased on the four roomy floors of MANIA in Deloraine’s main street, sharing space with artisanal items of all descriptions. This is furniture richly hued with age, that has the integrity not just of timber, or even of wood, but of … tree. Its imperfections are celebrated. Its anachronous inconveniences have been tweaked to suit modern practicality and décor without compromising original character.

Ugly paint is stripped off‚, but maybe not completely. Sometimes a residue of its former life is retained as a link with authenticity, a glimmer of its original purpose. A well-used table, utilitarian lino patched onto its top above incongruously elegant 19th century legs, has been burnished into a homely warmth that invites hard wear as the centrepiece of a family kitchen.

A barn door, constructed from ships’ packing cases that ferried essential supplies on the long journey from the Old Country more than a century ago, served a lifetime of rural service until reborn as a lengthy trestle table supported by rugged Tassie Oak legs, perfect for the largest family gathering.

Castor wheels and capacious drawers below the work surface gave a new lease on life to an old cabinetmaker’s bench, and the original vise has been retained at one end for those difficult situations in an old or new kitchen.

An 1850 Georgian peg table with stretcher base, a wooden work bench with convenient hinged seats, a 19th century English pine table proudly bearing its scars of meat cleaver cuts and burn marks from heavy cast iron cookware – all exude warmth and hint at stories of their past.

A hardware store spare parts cabinet with pigeonholes would be the ideal home for a large spice collection. A bank of post office boxes with key-locked metal doors has been glammed up with blackwood sides, waiting to begin new life as a wine rack.

The lid of a long, narrow high-backed hallway seat hides plenty of storage space.

Rhett’s pieces blend quirkiness with function, evoking past eras while dovetailing into modern lifestyles.

Exteriors of an old red pine school locker and a Baltic pine wardrobe have both been restored, with interiors reworked as kitchen pantries.

Office furniture was once all made of wood, metal and glass, and the silky oak solicitor’s glass front cabinet with its A4 drawers is a lovely blend of fine timber and practicality for any purpose you choose.

Short of storage space for all your home-grown veg? A baker’s dough-bin of English walnut with tapered legs is just the thing. Few know that a posser and dolly tub is a rotund 19th century wooden washing machine, but you can buy one from Rhett!

What was not-so-long-ago the stu‚ff of everyday life, is now regrettably rare. “Very little comes from Tasmania,” said Rhett. “It has all been shopped out. I have to go to the mainland now and doorknock to find unusual pieces.”

His bespoke Rustique furniture is well-supported by local and interstate buyers, and he ships anywhere in the country.

View all these and many more at MANIA on Emu Bay Road, 7 days a week, or contact Rhett on 0439 818 728 or email

Photo | Mike Moores

Nashville comes to Lonnie

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

JULY 2018 | David Claridge

EXCITING THINGS are happening for local fans of country music with Blackstone Heights business Tin Cup Country (TCC) hard at work again.

Off the back of successful visits from Australian country music artists, TCC have Kirsty Lee Akers coming back for an album preview party as she promotes her upcoming album Under My Skin.

Nathan and Meg Talbot, the people behind TCC are excited that Kristy asked to come back.

“Kirsty has already been this year, which was a sell-out event,” Nathan said.

“She is having a launch back in her hometown, from there the Broadbeach country music festival, for her third she wanted to come back here. We were pleasantly surprised.”

Kirsty will be performing at Saint John Craft Beer on July 22nd at 2.00pm.

Tickets are $18.00 per person or $40.00 with a signed album and can be purchased on Oztix, through Tin Cup Country on Facebook, Saint John Craft Beer or the F.A.B Espresso Bar at Prospect Vale Market Place.

August is going to be big as well, with a Singer Songwriter Show coming to town on the 19th.

Special Guests Imogen Clark, Brad Butcher and Hannah Lawes will be making an appearance, with a di‚fferent format.

Meg Talbot explains how the audience will be surprised with the set up they have organised.

“After Kirsty, we are excited to have a singer songwriter show. We believe it’s the first of its kind for country music in Tasmania,” she said.

“It’s called a ‘round’ in Nashville. All the artists sit on the stage at the one time, they roll through their songs and talk about why they wrote each song and then it goes to the next person. They take turns listening to each other’s music.

Tickets for the August event will be $25.00 per person.

Photo | Jeremy Dylan

People’s choice announced

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

June 2018

THE NEW art initiative Great Western Tiers Art Award has concluded for this year.

The ‘People’s Choice Award’ attracted 107 votes and was won by artist, Phillip Austen of Travellers Rest, for his work entitled Bastions of the Valley. 23 of the 30 exhibited works received ‘People’s Choice’ votes. The lucky voter prize was won by Geraldine King of Deloraine.

Budding artists should note that it will run again in March 2019.

I’m just here to rattle your cages

Arts, FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

MAY 2018 | Cody Handley

LOCAL AUTHOR, Margaret Cruickshank, will be holding a book signing at Seppenfelts Emporium on Saturday 26th May from 11.00am to 1.00pm.

Marg is pleased to be launching her new book, Parenting the Next Generation: A Journey of Life, Love and Learning.

By and large, Marg’s book has its origins in her career as a teacher.

Marg taught at the Launceston Matriculation College from 1976 to 1981, before heading overseas for several years. She returned in 1985 and took up teaching Behavioural Studies at Don College on the north-west coast.

“I realised I had in front of me the future parents of the world,” she said. As the years progressed, Marg started noticing changes in their attitudes and behaviour, all the while raising her own children.

Some of these changes were concerning, Marg notes. “It wasn’t a major jump to conclude that we (the baby boomer generation) were responsible for these changes!”

“I was particularly interested in where our society was heading and the challenges the Family Institution was confronting,” Marg said. “Knowing that changes in our society obviously have an impact and cause changes in successive generations, fascinated me.”

Marg found her students more than willing to engage with this new direction in her teaching. “I, as a new parent, learned heaps from them,” she said.

When asked what the greatest lesson her students taught her was, Marg identifies the importance of being heard. “Parents often listen to their children, but they don’t hear. The hearing part can take a long time.”

Marg’s students suggested she write a book about some of the significant topics covered in class discussions. “Marg, you need to write this stuff down! Nobody tells us these things!” Marg says, mimicking one of her students.

“I said I would do it and then life got in the way, big time. The greatest thing about the book is that I got it finished!”

Cultural differences around raising children also influenced the book. Marg’s first experience of raising a child was in an English village where the attitude was that the whole village took responsibility for that child, often reprimanding other people’s children for misbehaving. Marg noticed that Australians tend to be much more individualistic in their approach to their kids.

Marg says Parenting the Next Generation is not a how-to book - “It’s a book to make you think.”

As she used to tell her students, “I’m just here to rattle your cages.”

For more information about Marg and her book, visit

Photo | Mike Moores

Quinn-tessential artist

ArtsJoanne EisemannComment

MAY 2018

WESTBURY ARTIST Brad Quinn is the 2018 winner of the inaugural Esk Art Award.

Brad received the Tas Art Award Acquisitive Prize for his painting ‘Cataract Gorge 2’.

The Esk Art Award was announced on 13th April and is curated by the Launceston Art Society with the support of the Eskleigh Foundation. All entries and prize winners are exhibited at Eskleigh in Perth, until 27th May. ‘Cataract Gorge’ will then become part of the Eskleigh Foundation’s permanent collection.

Brad has been concentrating on painting and exhibiting his work since settling in Westbury in 2015 and was the winner of Meandering 2016 with his painting ‘Chudleigh Show’.

His larger paintings, such as ‘Cataract Gorge 2’, are often destined for exhibitions both in Tasmania and interstate.

Brad’s work can be seen in his workspace at Deloraine Creative Studios, on Emu Bay Road. Here, Brad spends up to two days a week, painting and drawing alongside other local artists and craftspeople.

Photo | Mike Moores

Homegrown originals night

Arts, EventsJoanne EisemannComment

May 2018 | Antonia Howarth-Wass

THE ORIGINALS Only Night was an evening of presentations by singers, instrumentalists, writers, dancers, drummers, storytellers and actors.

This event has no winners, yet is an opportunity for an audience to support local talent, and for performers keen to gain exposure.

Held at the Community Theatre, the evening opened with some indie pop by two young performers, Kiarnna and Dana from Scotch Oakburn School, one on cello and the other singing with a ukulele, followed by some steam punk, which, for the uninitiated, is rolling guitar strumming.

The crowd were delighted by poetry recitals, story telling and a piano recital of blues by Asuka Woods, just 13 yrs old.

Catzen Smith compèred this convivial evening and gave verses about her children and a new life she is making down south.

“Ben’s Booty Angst” included grunge, punk, rock, indie and orchestral, but the event of the night for most was the performance by two brothers from Hobart, Rahul and Rohan Sharma providing progressive metal and gypsy jazz with guitar and piano. Beautifully synchronised sounds are rare in modern music, but this duo had the audience on their feet.