Daily screenings put liberty on a loop

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An exploration of the meaning of ‘liberty’ will take to the big screen from today, with the launch of a public program supporting the Hobart Current: Liberty exhibition.

The City of Hobart’s public program features art installations in public spaces across the city, encouraging members of the community to interact with the theme of ‘liberty’.

The centrepiece of the program is Liberty Loop: Films of the People, which comprises 49 short films and digital content associated with the liberty theme.

Among the works that form part of a daily three-hour broadcast at The Loop is a three-minute film created by UTAS School of Creative Arts and Media Associate Lecturer Andy Terhell, exploring the relationships forged between people and their pets during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Just after we came out of lockdown, we held a pilot workshop where about 15 people came along to paint pictures of their pets,” Mr Terhell said. “During the workshop, we interviewed participants about their relationship with their pets during lockdown. The film is about the stories they told us.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet, who opened the program today, said the theme ‘liberty’ was appropriate, given the constraints of the past 12 months.

“The theme was determined long before COVID-19, but it’s fitting that we reflect on liberty as a theme as we observe the physical and social impacts the pandemic has had on our community,” Cr Burnet said.

“People in the creative sector have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, so the Hobart Current program has itself played a role in restoring the liberties of the artists involved.”

The Hobart Current: Liberty public program includes:

  • Liberty Loop: Films of the People featuring the work of 49 photographers, film makers and digital artists who have been exploring notions of ‘liberty’ during the pandemic and beyond. The footage will be featured daily until 9 May.
  • Liberty Postcard Exhibition (8 – 10 April) – the community has been invited to participate in a postcard exhibition through submitting creative responses to the ‘Liberty’ theme on an A5 postcard. Participants can draw, paint, sculpt, write, scribe or photograph their creative responses onto the postcard, which will then be displayed at the Waterside Pavilion. In addition to the postcards, there will be an installation of artworks in the centre of the gallery space created from the film There is No I in Island. These artworks respond to more than eight hours of Tasmanian voices recorded during isolation. There will also be an online gallery for people who can’t physically access the work.
  • Liberty Soapbox Billboards: The Stare (9 April) to be installed at Mathers Place. Second Echo Ensemble (SEE) will launch a series of portraits to dismantle the notion of ‘normal’ and empower the SEE artists living with a disability to reflect and share their lived experience on the Soapbox Billboards.
  • Liberty Art on Victoria – This will feature eight art frames on Victoria Street showcasing works created by five young artists depicting their response to the ‘Liberty’ theme.

Hobart Current: Liberty is a partnership between the City of Hobart and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). The Hobart Current: Liberty exhibition features works by 10 selected artists and is open until 9 May at TMAG, with installations also featured in outdoor locations.

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