3 October 2005

Artist In Residence Retrospective

I was very lucky to get back to Launceston this weekend, where I lived for several years, to participate in a special group exhibition at the s.p.a.c.e. gallery, Scotch Oakburn College. It was curated by Melissa Smith, my dear friend and one-time employer as one of the many Artists In Residence the school has taken on since she first initiated the program in 1994.

I spent the weekend in a strange rush of nostalgia for a very intense few years in my life. Very glad to see signs of new life in the city. The Inveresk Railyards development is a knock-out, now containing the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the TAFE college, the Powerhouse Gallery and the University of Tasmania’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.

When I left, it was still a derelict site, full of extraordinary potential, but with few guarantees that the ambitious plans would amount to anything. It frankly fills me with optimism to see the development succeed so completely through the collective effort of many.

Scotch Oakburn has changed too. I was very impressed with the renovations around the art rooms and the construction of a self-contained Performing Arts Centre with a beautiful gallery space. All a testament to the commitment of Melissa Smith to her vocation and to her students.

I was thrilled to be a part of the “Artist In Residence Retrospective” exhibition, which was also an opportunity for me to catch up with many of the friends that kept me alive during a difficult time, like Lisa Roberts, Emily Smith, Mandy Hunniford and many others.

The exhibition continues until the 2nd of November.

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