Week 25/2024: Winter art

Week of 17 June 2024

This week I unexpectedly ended up looking at two very different artworks in Hobart.

Winter art


An art installation in a glass box featuring a large painting of a human with a bird's head and wings tied to a crucifix, surrounded by netting, as other large black birds fly into the scene. The floor of the box is covered with fishing nets
Jessica Coughlan & Amy Brown: Sacrifice

What are you willing to sacrifice for your salmon dinner?

This is the question artists Jessica Coughlan and Amy Brown have asked visitors to Hobart’s waterfront in their Sacrifice installation in Mawson Place.

Timed to coincide with Dark MOFO’s Winterfeast, their piece is “inspired by revelations that salmon producer, Tassal, was responsible for the deaths of 89 native Greater Cormorants at the end of 2023—53 shot and killed, the remaining birds dying in nets covering the fish pens.”

It’s part of a larger art project, the Kali Project, which Jessica and Amy founded to create art that calls for “political and cultural change for a liveable future”. Jessica says the project “leans into the beauty and gore of classic art masterpieces and religious iconography to draw attention to unsustainable natural resource use and animal cruelty at the hands of industry”.

Sacrifice contrasts the beauty of nature with the realisation that the cormorants are dead or almost dead as a result of the activities of industrial fish farming.


Close up on an art installation in a glass box featuring a large painting of a human with a bird's head and wings tied to a crucifix, surrounded by netting, as other large black birds fly into the scene. The floor of the box is covered with fishing nets. The light forms a cross shape on the human figure
Jessica Coughlan & Amy Brown: Sacrifice

Can you see what I noticed?


Lil Sis and I ended up in the city on Saturday (because I wanted to find some art supplies after my journalling workshop a couple of weeks ago). While we were in the art shop, we saw a flyer for an exhibition called solstice at Penny Contemporary in Liverpool Street.

We had to go.

This exhibition from Tasmania artist Tilley Wood features paintings and sculptures she made between the winter solstice 2023 and this year’s solstice.

A square oil painting featuring muted tones of a seaside in winter
Tilley Wood: South Arm Winter 2

Tilley says,

‘Solstice’ is derived from Latin: ‘sol’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘sistere’ to ‘stand still’. Every year it arrives twice, marking the shortest and longest days of sunlight.

These days are lighthouses by which I navigate the months around. In the waning period there is growing stillness, and preparation for the dark months ahead. A pivot in June, and the waxing of light brings hope and energy with it. This external aspect of life guides my art making and the works that emerge from it. They reflect growth and decline, energy and reserve and the balance between them in relating to life and the landscapes within it.

This year, the winter solstice falls on June 21. It means always the next day will be a little brighter. So for all the hardship and slogging of dark days in a southem winter, I know there is light and heat to come. Slow and steady.

The works are mostly 32cm x 32 cm oil paintings on birch. They depict scenes from Tasmania as well as mainland Australia, and Tilley also made a piece of everlasting daisies dedicated to her partner.

They’re lovely paintings and we enjoyed looking around. We also had a peek into the art bar out the back, which is the most wonderful space and why can’t my lounge room look like this?!

My favourite Tasmanian painting was South Arm Winter 2 (above). I also loved the colours in Big Sky Summer (Kakadu).

A square oil painting with bright blue sky and two small white birds flying above what might be white clouds below
Tilley Wood: Big Sky Summer (Kakadu)

Week 25 summary

Habit tracker

  • 9.20 shutdown: 7/7 days
  • 8,000 steps: 7/7 days

What was the best thing this week?

Sunday was another of Pepperberry Theatre’s acting workshops. Justus Neumann’s workshop was called Thinking Strictly Forbidden! Presence on Stage and in Life; Improvisation & Spontaneous Storytelling.

Clearly, the perfect workshop for an overthinker.

A layered blue and green tile with a photo of an older man with a white beard and whispy white hair and the title "Justus Neumann"
Thinking Strictly Forbidden!

Justus has had a 50+ year career in professional acting, writing, directing and teaching career and came to Australia in 1986. He says:

Thinking can get in the way of creativity. We have to trust that our imaginations will supply us in the moment with the right ideas that are needed to be spontaneous and authentic. This workshop is all about finding this moment, the stressless place, the platform from where it can all happen with ease.

This is exactly what it was about, and to say I was terrified is an understatement. This came not only from the thought (ha!) that I would have to experiment in spontaneity in front of other people but also that most of these other people would be very much more experienced actors than me. The inner voice that tries to stop me from making a fool of myself in public was very strong.

In the end, it was nothing like this at all. Justus was an absolute delight to work with, everyone else was there to learn, and no one was looking at me (except when they were).

I had a great time and I did things that even last year when I was doing regular acting classes I might have been more reluctant to try.

Five stars!

What did I notice this week?

Gulls on the light pole on Macquarie Street.

A city street in dim winter morning light, there is a row of gulls perched on a street lamp pole
Macquarie & Elizabeth Street, Thursday 20 June 2024, 8.27 am

What did I learn this week?

I learned many things!

For example, did you know owls don’t have eyeballs? They have eye tubes or cylinders. These rod-shaped eyes don’t move in the sockets as eyeballs do, so to compensate for the lack of movement, owls can rotate their head 270 degrees. (I think I learned this a long time ago but I was reminded when I saw this photo in a shop in Salamanca.)

Close up of a picture of an owl wearing a suit behind glass, It has yellow eyes. There are reflections in the glass
An owl in a shop window

I listened to the Queer Life Stories podcast, which tells the stories of LGBTIQA+ people in Tasmania. It’s produced by North West Pride, a group that supports LGBTIQA+ people in north and north west Tasmania. The podcast must have come up in one of my social feeds, and the first one I listened to was about the experiences of people with intersex variations (the I in the acronym). I learned a lot from this.

A yellow tile with a purple open circle and text QUEER LIFE STORIES in the top left corner. Below the circle in white text are the words INTERSEX DISCUSSION WITH SIMONE-LISA & DAVE
Queer Life Stories podcast episode

Intersex is not a sex or a gender or an identity. Rather, it’s an umbrella term for people who have intersex characteristics. This includes atypical hormones, chromosomes, internal reproductive organs or external genitalia. There are 40 or more intersex variations; some of the variations have their own variations and some don’t have names. Some people have more than one variation.

It’s a really interesting episode featuring Dave, an intersex person, and Simone-Lisa, a project officer at Working It Out. (Here’s the Spotify link and it’s available on other platforms too.)

A warning, there is a confronting discussion on some of the surgeries that can be performed on children in the episode but I think it’s important people are aware of this.

Since I found this podcast I’ve been catching up on some of the older episodes, and I’m finding the stories of the people fascinating and eye opening. Highly recommended.

What am I reading?

  • Extra Focus: The Quick Start Guide to Adult ADHD by Jesse J Anderson.
  • The Everything Guide by Niki Bezzant
Share this