Celebrating The Big Punchbowl – An Art and Nature Collaboration

Ms Margie Jenkin1

1Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Lower Sandy Bay, Australia


Connecting people with the environment is critical to progress nature conservation and the work of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC). Discovery days on our private reserves provide opportunities for supporters to hear about ecological values and management from expert staff. Our volunteer program engages students, supporters and neighbours in various activities, both on and off the reserves, while regular newsletters and social media share news and stories on the nature we protect.

But the visual arts and creative expression provide a fresh and artistic lens through which audiences can experience nature.

In 2016, in collaboration with Bett Gallery, the TLC introduced nine poets and nine painters to The Big Punchbowl Reserve on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula.  In pairs, they have produced work interpreting the landscape, its stories and ecological fabric, and this has been exhibited and published in Poets and Painters – Celebrating The Big Punchbowl.

Gallery owners, Dick and Carol Bett hatched the Poets and Painters idea in the 1990s, bringing together writers and painters to collaborate in pairs. Their aim was to unite emerging and acclaimed artists of different genres, expose them to the same subject and then observe the response.

For the first time, the subject was replaced with a place, little known to the participants involved.

The results, edited and curated by Carol Bett and Pete Hay have been both intimate and grand, inviting us to ponder the role art can play in connecting new audiences to nature and its protection.


About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

Conference Managers

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Photography Credits Tourism Tasmania, Joe Shemesh, Graham Freeman, Hobart City Council, Simon Cuthbert, Matt Glastonbury, Hype TV, Aerial Vision Australia, Rob Burnett, Jonathan Wherrett, Eric Woehler
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