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Wilderness strengthens creativity of Tasmanian artists

Tasmania, re-wilding their artists for the last 20 years


The modern world is a fast, technically driven and socially connected place. It is also a place where paleo diets and human re-wilding have become popular ways to reject modern living and plug into a simpler and natural way of being.

In Tasmania they have been re-wilding their artists for the last 20 years by setting them free in a wilderness environment where they can disconnect from daily life and focus completely on making art.

Thankfully they are not required to live under the stars in a wholly primal lifestyle (they get to stay in basic but cosy rangers’ huts) but the wilderness residency program has proven to have a profound impact on artistic practice and provide a renewed source of inspiration.

Sara Maher is a Tasmanian artist who completed several wilderness residencies. She says

“The major challenge and the major drive is the isolation and what that triggers… it puts me on an edge which I think is the place I need to create from, it’s not always comfortable but it’s wonderful.”

(video link)

Tasmania’s national parks are celebrating their centenary in 2016 and this year also marks 20 years of the unique wilderness residency program for artists that is delivered by Arts Tasmania and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.

To celebrate the success of the program, four art exhibitions have been located in national parks around the state through the Arts in Parks project.

The Arts in Parks exhibitions will display artwork created during the wilderness residency program and provide visitors to the parks with an opportunity to view the wilderness environment through the eyes of an artist.

The exhibitions will be held at Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair, Maria Island and Bruny Island from 23 September 2016 – 20 March 2017.

Tasmania is an island where natural beauty and creative excellence thrive and the results can be seen by visiting one of the four national parks to view the exhibitions in person or click here to see the online exhibition.