Art Gallery and Local History
The Wonders of Wynyard hosts a feature exhibition each month showcasing the work of predominantly local artists and community groups including paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and much more. There are also permanent displays of locally significant collections, and local historical interpretation displays. Entry to the Gallery space is free!
This month's feature exhibition
THREE WELL KNOWN AUSTRALIANS - 2001
Martin Shaw - Artist statement
'If the public can understand the symbolism of the painting touring cities and towns for many generations, then they will probably understand it as a symbol of Australia’s continuous political, social and economic stability and Australia’s continual peace.'
I did this painting in 1982, and it has been touring regions of Australia continuously since 1983.
Whether one has a thousand years of aboriginal heritage, first fleet ancestry or is a newly arrived migrant, when the painting is exhibited in cities and towns around Australia, everyone has the opportunity to record their names, age, occupation and address into the yearbooks along with opinions on the identity of the ‘Three Australians’.
The opinions recorded in the yearbooks are like brushstrokes of a portrait… and the portrait is Australia. Some people have ‘painted’ politicians, sport stars, and artists, while others have suggested general and abstract themes. There are the famous and the infamous, the historical and contemporary, the serious and amusing. Some people have recorded their political and social concerns.
Children (through amusing adult eyes) might record their favourite school teacher as one of the ‘Three Australians’ while others might record something very personal such as a friend or relative who didn’t return from war. Many Australians from diverse backgrounds and locations have written to me with their‘ Three Australians’ it’s their way of helping the project obtain publicity, secure a sponsor and continuing touring for generations.
The painting, the letters and the yearbooks give the public the opportunity to reflect on past Australians, think about the present and speculate future society. The recorded comments in the yearbooks create a real world from the abstract symbol.
This is what future generations of Australians will be doing, flicking through the pages of the yearbooks, reading what past generations have recorded and finding Australians, themes and comments that have stood the test of time, while others are forgotten. Each individual will feel comfortable with what they write down, each generation will paint their own world into the pages of the yearbooks. The yearbooks paint a continuous picture of Australian society.
Displays permanently held at the Wonders of Wynyard include a Japanese Doll Collection, a life-sized paper sculpture of F. M. Alexander – founder of the Alexander Technique - and a detailed history of the Tommeginer people. All of these displays have local historical significance.
Along with our unique historical motoring display, our maritime history is also featured at the Wonders of Wynyard. Historical data records the naming of Table Cape by explorers Bass and Flinders in 1798. The Table Cape Lighthouse was built in 1888 and is the only operating Lighthouse open for tours on mainland Tasmania.
The unique geology of the area, including Table Cape - the remains of a 12 million year old volcano - the fossil rich sandstone cliffs of Fossil Bluff and the Basalt headlands called Doctors Rocks can also be discovered at the Wonders of Wynyard.
And just 50 minutes from Wynyard at the gateway to the Tarkine Wilderness, the township of Waratah has a staggering history of riches and pioneering spirit that can be explored at the Tarkine Interpretation Centre and Courthouse Museum.