Thursday 14 June 2007


Mr FINCH (Statement) - Mr President, I love the Darryl Gerrity-ism too: it is a tale of fictional truth.

Ms Forrest - As only Darryl could say

Mr FINCH - Might I also add, along with you, Mr President, my congratulations to Danielle Blewett for her award, the Athol Meyer award for journalism? Congratulations, Danielle.


Mr President, it is often said that you get what you pay for.

Mr Aird - And we get you.
Members laughing .

Mr FINCH - Please let me go on. Sometimes you miscalculate and you waste your money. Sometimes, all too rarely, you reap a bonus. I would assert that Tasmanian Regional Arts and Tasmania generally have benefited beyond all expectations through their recent help in the funding of an exhibition involving Tasmanian and Dutch artists at a gallery near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Katy Woodroffe, an arts teacher at the Launceston Church Grammar School, was recently involved in the Project Tasmania at the Gallery De Meerse at Hoofddorp near Amsterdam, along with fellow Tasmanian artist Robert Ikin, as part of an international exhibition which featured Tasmania during May and this month.

Obviously Tasmania has a longstanding relationship with the Netherlands dating back to Abel Janszoon Tasman. This Tasmanian project also included two Dutch artists who both enjoyed art residencies in Tasmania last year. Both Marielle van den Bergh and Mels Dees are highly regarded artists in their own country and their experiences in Tasmania were profound. The Hoofddorp gallery invited each artist to respond to Tasmania in some way and the resulting exhibition has been acknowledged as an outstanding success with an enormous amount of media interest in the Netherlands. This sort of event not only helps Tasmanian artists but is of inestimable value in promoting Tasmania with an important European trading partner and, I might say, a source of visitors to Tasmania. The Australian ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr Stephen Brady, came from The Hague to open the exhibition. The municipality of Hoofddorp funded a three-course sit-down dinner for 40 guests, which was a great promotion for Tasmania. In the words of Launceston's Katy Woodroffe, and I will stick with my normal voice:

'A long white table stretched the length of the gallery and the evening was a wonderful celebration not only of the artwork but also of the links between Australia and the Netherlands.'

It was a tremendous promotion for this State and both Tasmanian artists were interviewed at length by arts journalists in attendance. The gallery has since had an enormous number visiting the exhibition with a very positive response to the diverse work on display.

Mr Wilkinson - Have you displayed yet?

Mr FINCH No, not yet.
The support of Tasmanian Regional Arts played an important role in helping with the enormous costs of travel and transport involved with an exhibition of this nature. It was also tremendous to know that Tasmania recognises the value of its artists. I know that is something, Mr President, that would ring true with you. They were the words of Launceston artist and art teacher Katy Woodroffe in her acknowledgment of the help she received from Tasmanian Regional Arts. Katy Woodroffe is, of course, one of my constituents from Rosevears. She lives at Riverside. Apart from teaching art to Launceston students, her work is in private collections in Australia, the Netherlands, Britain, Kenya, France, India and the United States. She has won numerous awards and grants but the one which has really benefited Tasmania is this Tasmanian Regional Arts grant of a mere $1 500 in support of this Project Tasmania exhibition in the Netherlands this year.

Her work in exhibitions during Ten Days on the Island this year, in Sydney last year and at Launceston's Poimena Gallery, which she helped to establish, all benefit Tasmania's image. As far as Katy Woodroffe is concerned, Tasmanian Regional Arts funding has been well spent. Tasmania has many other potential ambassadors who are worth their weight in gold, but perhaps just enough funding to encourage them might be sufficient.