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ABC News photograph

Tasmania’s Derwent Valley Concert Band has cleaned up at the World Marching Band Championships.

The band was judged the winner over 14 other outfits in the open event in Germany.

The conductor Layton Hodgetts has told ABC Local Radio the award took everyone by surprise.

“And to cap it all off they decided to give me the gold medal conductor award, so we’re all feeling pretty excited over here tonight, it’s been an amazing outcome,” he said.


What do fungi and stonewash jeans have in common? What has a moss got to do with the Tyrolean iceman? What are the tallest mosses? What is a reindeer moss? How can lichens read pollution?

The answers to these questions and many more will be answered in a remarkable free touring exhibition, Hidden in Plain View: the forgotten flora, staged by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne which goes on display in Launceston in August.

Dr Teresa Lebel, one of the organisers, says the exhibition is about encouraging people to investigate the influence of the forgotten flora on their daily lives through curiosities, rarities, and everyday items, and gain an understanding of the importance of conserving the ‘often overlooked’ in our world.
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A cheeky portrait of the Danish royal family has won this year’s Bald Archy Prize.

Newcastle railway worker James Brennan was awarded the $5,000 prize in Canberra this morning.

‘I was vacuuming and it just popped into my head out of nowhere,’ Brennan said.”

The Bald Archy Prize was created in 2004 as a spoof of Australia’s most prestigious art award, the Archibald.

It is also the only art competition in the world allegedly judged by a cockatoo, named Maude.


Sea eagle

Tasmanian artist Belinda Kurczok has won the People’s Choice Award in Adelaide’s 2007 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize for her lifelike gouache painting of two white-bellied sea eagles.

Named after Frederick George Waterhouse, the South Australian Museum’s first curator, the Waterhouse Art Prize is Australia’s richest prize for natural history art.

Kurczok, 28, received her $5000 prize and a ticket to Malaysia at a presentation ceremony at the museum last night.

The top prize was won by Victorian artist Heather Marsh.

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Woods Lake trout

In 2003, the Devonport Regional Gallery established a commission program that sought to provide emerging Tasmanian artists with the support to develop a solo exhibition. Hobart-based Richard Wastell was the first artist invited to participate in the program.

Not far from here was the outcome — an exhibition of paintings that capture the essence of the Tasmanian wilderness, its extraordinary beauty and also its vulnerability and the desecration wrought upon it by man.

The exhibition was shown at the Devonport Regional Gallery, and then the Bett Gallery Hobart, in March 2005. It was a sell-out.

And a tribute to the young Richard Wastell’s determination to live by his art once he had graduated with a degree in Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Tasmania in 1996. As Jane Stewart, director of the Devonport Regional Gallery wrote, after his recent exhibition in Sydney and enthusiastic national reviews, he is now getting the recognition he deserves.

The works in Not far from here are oil and marble dust on linen.

Rachael Treasure and Akbar the Waler stallion

Bestselling Tasmanian author Rachael Treasure shares a quiet moment with her Waler stallion Akbar as they peruse her recently-released novel — The Rouseabout.

Rachael also writes a very popular web blog — Treasure’s Tales — where, in her own laconic voice, she documents the ups and downs of country life … its about life on a farm, not a country weekender …

Rachael has joined our team at thisTasmania and will contribute a regular Letter from the country.

Here’s her first Letter … an ode, sort of, to the humble swede which freckles Tasmanian paddocks during winter.

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