The Hobart

OFF SEASON: Winter Art With Heart

by Stephanie Williams
OFF SEASON: Winter Art With Heart

There is so much to choose from all corners of Tasmania, from live music and exhibitions to bushwalking and art retreats, to storytelling, classical music and even a performance in a cave: nothing is off limits in winter.

Shutter Happy with Steam
Combine historic steam trains, incredible winter night skies and photography with the West Coast Wilderness Railway’s ( Steam Under the Stars session. Trains are magical at night – and this night train photography has been inspired by US photographer O. Winston Link. The small group evening class steps inside the maintenance facility for the opportunity to capture striking black and white images of locomotives in steam, just as Link did.

From Nature to Canvas
Learn how to paint Tasmanian flora and fauna with a local artist so you can take your travels home on canvas. Lovely Launceston store The Hibiscus Boutique hosts a series of two hour workshops this winter, so you can learn to paint our native Fagus tree or perhaps a native hen. Email to make a booking.

Post Your Stories in Stanley
Storytelling is alive and well on the island. Sip an aperitif of complimentary muscat and exchange stories by the cosy fire at the historic Ship Inn ( at Stanley. Jot your yarns on a postcard from their 1900s Billiard Hall, leaving them for others to enjoy. This Off Season, savour three nights for the cost of two.

Keep Your Hands Busy
For those who embrace winter as a time to slow down, sit by the fire and make some-thing beautiful by hand, there’s a uniquely Tasmanian embroidery class at Yarns Artwork in Silk ( in Deloraine. Each class includes a viewing of the famous Yarns Artwork – a large-scale textile project depicting the four seasons of life in the Meander Valley. In this class you’ll choose a kit of either a Tasmanian Devil or Tasmanian Tiger – exact replicas of those featured on the Yarns panels – and be guided through the process over two hours. Classes held on May 12, June 16, July 14 and August 11.

Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival
The Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival ( is back from 7-16 June, bringing art to open private and public spaces in St Helens and surrounds. The annual $20,000 Bay of Fires Art Prize and exhibition gala opening will be on 7 June at the Panorama Hotel. There’s also the youth art prize, an open studio arts and gardens trail, and a dawn dash and splash at Binalong Bay’s Main Beach at 7:15am on 8 June.

Hadley’s Art Prize
The annual prestigious Hadley’s Art Prize ( is always a winter highlight in Hobart. An acquisitive Australian landscape prize, it offers $100,000 to the winning entry and receives incredible works from artists from all over. On 7 May finalists are announced, on 2 August the exhibition opens and awards are announced, with the finalists’ work exhibited until 25 August. There are free tours and artist talks on various dates.

Bay of Fires En Plein Air
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Bay of Fires during the Off Season with a four-day en plein air painting retreat led by acclaimed artist Peter Gouldthorpe and run by the Tasmanian Walking Company ( Walk to different locations to capture landscapes by day, and engage in art-filled evenings over delectable food and wine. All enjoyed with a small group of like-minded art appreciators at a private eco-lodge.

Old School Camera Action
Get shutter happy when you stay two nights at Wahroonga on Bourke (, a federation home accommodation in Launceston. At check in you’ll receive a film camera before heading out into the wilds for a guided photography shoot. After capturing your stills, venture into the darkroom and get hands-on developing your unique souvenirs.

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May 2024

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