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Premier opens the Port Arthur Project


The Premier Paul Lennon today opened the Port Arthur Project, described as the most significant event to date commissioned by Ten Days on the Island.

Curated by Noel Frankham of the Tasmanian School of Art, and Julia Clark of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority, The Port Arthur Project has invited 25 leading visual artists to explore and uncover new ways of looking at one of this country’s most visited, researched and recognisable places.

More than a century after the last prisoner departed the Port Arthur penal settlement the site remains an enduring reminder of Australia’s fraught beginnings. The iconic ruins, convict artefacts and even the paradoxical beauty of the place are rich with stories of despair, loneliness, hope and simply the everyday existences of the prisoners, guards, women and children who lived there.

The Port Arthur Project offers fresh perspectives on the stories behind this most familiar of places as artists respond to the theme ‘revelation’ with site-specific installations of photography, video, sound-scapes, sculpture and performances.

Artists invited to take part in The Port Arthur Project are:
Lucy Bleach, Christl Berg, Tracey Cockburn,.Nicole Ellis, Anne Ferran, Linda Fredheim, Ruth Frost, Fiona Hall, Vicki West & Lola Greeno, Leigh Hobba, Colin Langridge, Fiona Lee, Karen Lunn & Milan Milojevic, Anne McDonald, Anne Mestitz, James Newitt, Brigita Ozolins, Helen Psotova, Justy Phillips, Alyssa Simone, Lucia Usmiani, Matt Warren and Elizabeth Woods.

The Port Arthur Project is presented by the Port Arthur Historic Site, School of Art, University of Tasmania and Ten Days on the Island. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

The exhibition is on display at the site from 16 March until 15 April, 8:30am – dusk daily. Standard Port Arthur Historic Site entry fees apply

Port Arthur Picnic
On 25 March, the Port Arthur Historic Site also hosts a special day of art, music, food and fun for the whole family. Join one of four guided tours with a visual arts expert, relax on the lawns for a picnic lunch (pre-ordered picnic packs available), soak up the sounds of the Derwent Valley Concert Band – and keep an eye peeled for the giant bouncing kangaroos – Roo’d!

Port Arthur Historic Site: 25 March, 11am – 4pm. Special entry fees apply
Pre-ordered picnic and entry packages available – see

Premier opens the Port Arthur Project

Noel Frankham shows Premier Lennon around the exhibition, with PAHSMA CEO Stephen Large (left) and Ten Days Artistic Director Elizabeth Walsh (right)

Premier opens the Port Arthur Project

The Premier opens the exhibition

Premier opens the Port Arthur Project

Guests at the opening

Premier opens the Port Arthur Project

Media crews film artist Brigita Ozolins' performance in the Chapel

Premier opens the Port Arthur Project

Julia Clark speaks with media representatives at the opening

Premier opens the Port Arthur Project

The Premier experiences Matt Warren's sound installation in the Guard Hut