Soapbox - an opportunity for someone to express their views publicly - Oxford Dictionary
Soapbox is an ongoing City of Hobart Cultural Development initiative in the City's Public Art Program. The project offers a series of billboards that give voice to the City, through responses by writers and artists from the community. Soapbox billboards are located at Mathers Place: in Criterion Lane, on the rear wall of the State Library and the side of the Playhouse Theatre and are updated throughout the year.
If you have a creative project that you’d like to feature on the Soapbox billboards, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
31 - The Stare
We’ve always been taught not to stare; not to look at someone deeply because it might offend them. So we look away. But if we don’t look, we can’t see and if we can’t see we can’t know - so how can we understand? Second Echo Ensemble (SEE) are launching a series of portraits to create a place to see and be seen that dismantles ‘normal’ and empowers the SEE artists living with disability to reflect and share their lived experiences.
This project is part of a diverse program of community activities exploring the notion of ‘Liberty’ as a complement to the inaugural Hobart Current: Liberty exhibition, 2021.
Previous Soapbox billboards
30 - Collins Street Studio
In the mid 1930s, artists Edith Holmes, Mildred Lovett, Florence Rodway, Dorothy Stonor, Ethel Nicholls and Violet Vimpany shared a studio at 76 Collins Street, Hobart. Most of these women had trained together at the Hobart Technical College under Lucien Dechaineaux. Their work was exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.
This story is part of an existing women’s history walk entitled “In Her Stride”, with much of the material drawn from Lindy Scripps “Women’s Sites and Lives in Hobart: Historical Research” (March 2000).
29 - I Am Somebody
I Am Somebody is a project by Helene Thomas and Andrew Wilson comprising recorded interviews and portraits of local people who have experienced housing stress or insecurity.
For more information and to listen to the recordings, visit the I Am Somebody project page.
28 - New Lines of Sight - Sara Wright with students from Hobart and Yaizu, Japan
A creative project for the City's Soapbox Billboards
New Lines of Sight has been commissioned to celebrate 30 years of student exchange of the Hobart – Yaizu Japan sister city relationship, now in its 42nd year. Artist Sara Wright, with interpretation by Yukiko Burns, facilitated young women from Yaizu and Mt Carmel College in a creative process, navigating bias and sharing cultural perspectives, seeing themselves and each other with new eyes. The result is a collective dreaming for the future: a global society of friendship, reciprocity and peace.
The shodo symbol by Yaizu student Mikoto Totsuka and Sarasa Ohtani translates to ‘with gratitude, our dreams become real’. The symbol has been cleverly re-imagined using the Japanese character for ‘dream’, drawn out of the word for ‘thank you’ or ‘gratitude.’
“A blue line of stars connect the faces of young women, eyes closed, connecting to self and spirit, feeling gratitude and allowing a collective dream of limitless possibility” – Sara Wright.
For more information on this project and the Yaizu Sister City relationship please visit our Yaizu Soapbox project page.
27 - Meditations on muwinina by Neika Lehman and Lauren Gower
The new Soapbox billboards present an artwork from an ongoing creative and conceptual writing collaboration between trawlwoolway family members, Neika Lehman and Lauren Gower, with design by artist, Rosie Isaac
In meditations on muwinina, the artists have used the concept of ‘family’ as a starting point for conversations around family, memory, Country and the role of art to present writing about lutruwita|Tasmania.
Artist Neika Lehman writes: “We wanted to present Aboriginal conceptions of niplaluna|Hobart, addressing muwinina Country and all its relations (mountain, animals, plants) as the caregivers to our lives. We wanted to respond to the ongoing sovereignty of the land and its custodians, to create an old and new portrait of the land where contemporary nipaluna|Hobart is situated. We hope the Soapboxes can be a starting point for further conversations not only between locals, but also for tourists and other visitors coming through nipaluna|Hobart for the HOBIENNALE festival and other activities.”
The billboards are presented by un Projects and HOBIENNALE and will be on display until February 2020.
26 - A Shipwrecked Life
“Explorer, Revolutionist, Protector of Iceland, Humanist, Preacher, Author, Gambler, Dispenser of Medicine, Diplomatic Agent, Sailor, Captain, Saviour, Political Prisoner, Exile, Convict, Editor, Colonial Constable, Deluded Dipsomaniac.”
Caroline Amos retraces the colonial Tasmanian journeys of the flawed yet enigmatic Jorgen Jorgenson through a series of visual narratives.
Artwork and illuminations of Jorgenson’s life form part of an exhibition that will be on display at the Allport Gallery from 13 September 2019 to 15 February 2020.
To view more images of the exhibition please scroll through the flickr galleries of past exhibitions.
25 - Hobartians Facing Homelessness - 50/50 Art Project
Hobartians Facing Homelessness – 50/50 is the community-focused art project which explores the issues around homelessness using art as a vehicle to connect diverse viewpoints and create collaboration with a result that can be shared, exhibited and foster discussion.
Home is not four walls. Home is a caring community.
Homelessness is a pressing issue for many Hobartians, with so many Tasmanians currently homeless.
Through an artistic collaboration between students and homeless people with lived experience, we are able to actively consider the issue and generate awareness and empathy.
K.Kelly – Hobartians Facing Homelessness
The billboard artwork was on display from 29 July until 1 September 2019.
24 - Safe Haven
Safe Haven is a collaborative community-focused creative project that explores the intersection of place, belonging and queer identity in Tasmania by local artist, Dexter Rosengrave.
In 2018, Hobart-based artist Dexter Rosengrave visited the homes of three people from the LGBTIQ+ community to talk about their experience of being queer and why they call Tasmania home. A series of photographic artworks for Soapbox have been created in response to these interactions.
“The billboards use a combination of photography and quotes to articulate the reasons why members from an at-risk community choose to remain in regional areas rather than relocating to more populated cities,” the artist explained.
Safe Haven explores how queer community members define and experience home, from both within and beyond the walls of a house. The artist considers “older generations of queer Tasmanians and how the experience of making oneself invisible would have been necessary for survival during times when queerness was deemed an illness or illegal.”
The artworks will adorn the Soapbox billboards located at Mathers Place in Criterion Lane, on the rear wall of the State Library and the side of the Playhouse Theatre until 14 July 2019.
Image credit: Lea Guy, Artwork: Dexter Rosengrave.
23 - Basic Spell
BASIC SPELL is an evolving creative project for radical thinking. It offers a residency program that invites response to a unique library. The library is the heart of this project – a collection of feminist literature inherited by JR Brennan from his mother Patricia after she died in 2011. The collection consists of feminist literature from a wide range of perspectives including anthropology, sociology and theology with a particular focus on the female body and language. In 2017 the collection was brought to Hobart and installed at 221 Liverpool Street. Basic Spell is curated by JR Brennan, Adam James and Willoh S.Weiland.
BASIC SPELL | RESIDENCY
The BASIC SPELL | FEMINISM experiment will be a 100 year long residency program supporting one radical thinker per year to commune with the library and share their findings with the Hobart community in an event at 221 Liverpool Street. For more information please visit www.basicspell.com
“Who are your intellectual mothers?” is the question posed on the Soapbox on the side of the State Library. The quote comes from Marianne Mulvey, the first Basic Spell resident thinker, at the public presentation of her research and, in turn, comes from a question posed by author Maggie Nelson in her feminist autobiography The Argonauts.
22 - What wisdoms do they hold? What tales remain untold?
Through the sharing of stories, we celebrate the rich lives of elders in our communities. Across the generation divide, the experiences of older people can often be lost or overlooked. By gathering stories, having a yarn, forming a connection, knowledge is gained in the philosophies and wisdoms, challenges and insights of lived experience.
What wisdoms do they hold?
What tales remain untold?
Over many cups of tea, Matt Daniels Ned and Ned Daniels, a father and son team, have worked together in dialogue with elders in and around Hobart to produce these artworks.
The Mathers House Story project fosters understanding and respect by continuing these conversations with elders in our communities.
Drop into Mathers House to find out more or visit the Mathers House website.
21 - The People's Library
The People’s Library is a collaborative artwork that focuses on everyday acts of reading and writing. The project has published 113 original books from people across Tasmania. The People’s Library continues this September offering events, readings, exhibitions and activities at Salamanca Arts Centre.
The People’s Library is initiated by A Published Event and presented in partnership with Salamanca Arts Centre. The People's Library is supported by the Australia Council for The Arts, the Federal Government’s arts funding and advisory body; the City of Hobart; The Regional Arts Fund with generous support from the Allport Bequest.
Image credit: A Published Event
20 - Climate Conversations HobArt
Climate conversations hobArt is part of the City of Hobart’s review of its Climate Change Strategy. It was completed by artist Selena de Carvalho with Lansdowne Crescent Primary School students and other interested members of the public. Working in collaboration with Seed Consultants, the City recognised an opportunity to introduce an art component to the review process in order to capture and reflect the community’s climate emotions and sensations. Two mandalas were drawn by students, with the creation process captured in a short film. A complimentary series of personal letters to our future climate or grandchildren were written as part of the City of Hobart Climate Forums.
To learn more go to: climateconversationshobart.hotglue.me
Learn more about City's sustainable communities projects.
Image: Artwork by the students of Goulburn Street primary School in collaboration with artist Selena de Carvalho for the City of Hobart Climate Strategy Project.
19 - The Unmissables Project
The Unmissables Project, am initiate of the Missing Person’s Advocacy Network, pairs artists with writers to work with these families, developing artworks for the walls of Australian cities that engage the community and reignite the search.
Image credit: Missing: Nicola Sallese Words: Belinda Smart Art: Janine Wareham
18 - Painters and Poets
A collaboration between Bett Gallery and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy
During the spring and summer months of 2016 and 2017, eight poets and eight painters visited one of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy’s east coast reserves – The Big Punchbowl. These billboards provide a taste of the work produced by the poet|painter pairs. View the artwork and poetry at bettgallery.com.au and learn more about The Big Punchbowl and nature conservation at tasland.org.au
17 - Reggio Emilia Together project
October to December 2017
“Together is when everybody in the world holds hands and tries to understand each other.” Jade 5.4 years
The Together Project represents ongoing research undertaken by a group of educators from the Tasmanian Research Network in collaboration with children 0-8 years of age in the Hobart area.
Across the three billboards, the children have thought about and embodied the concept of ‘Together’ in a variety of art forms such as clay, drawing, mandala making and photography. Their ideas are both beautiful and thought provoking. The Together Project presents a strong image of children as capable citizens having the ability to co-construct meaning with others and their environment. The billboards are allowing young children’s thinking, creativity and theories visible in our city.
16 - Good Life Permaculture
July to September 2017
Good Life Permaculture in partnership with The City of Hobart held two free community workshops in June and July to teach people how to compost at home. Over 100 people from 86 households attended the workshops, with each household estimated to be composting around 35kgs of organic waste each month since the workshops. This is over 400kgs a year from each house that would have otherwise gone into landfill. The Billboards were created by a local artist, to educate the general public and placed around Mathers House to complement the workshops. These workshops have provided a large number of households with the ability to assist the City in working towards zero waste to landfill.
15 - Sisters – Yaizu + Hobart
These billboards celebrate the longstanding sister city relationship between Hobart and Yaizu, Japan. In the lead up to a 40-year celebration of this connection between the cities, a workshop was conducted between visiting Yaizu students and local students. The workshop, run by Chris Mister from the City’s Youth Arts & Recreation Centre, encouraged students to share experiences of living in each of the cities and to use drawing to express the relationship between themselves and their cities.
14 - ’67 Bushfire stories
February 2016 – April 2017
This series of billboards commemorates the bushfires of Black Tuesday, on 7 February 1967. These fires burned 2640 square kilometres of land in Southern Tasmania within 5 hours, claiming 62 lives, injuring 900 people and leaving thousands homeless. Each billboard combines a dramatic images of the fires or the aftermath, with quotes reflecting individual experiences of the day.
13 - Platform Magazine
November 2016 – January 2017
The artists from this series of billboards all feature within PLATFORM Youth Culture Magazine.
PLATFORM Youth Culture Magazine is Tasmania’s premier youth publication designed to share and explore the ways young people in our community thrive in an ever changing world. The entire magazine is written, designed, and photographed by young people for young people. For more information, visit the Platform website.
12 - Alzheimer's Australia Tasmania
Created as part of Alzheimer's Australia Tasmania's (AAT) Artist in Residence program, these billboards feature the works of 15 individual participants who experience early onset dementia. The original works evolved from a series of collages where participants formed abstract artworks.
The collage process allows for subtle aspects in the making process to be important design elements, for example the folds, tear marks and holes in the paper are evident in the final collages and workshop participants exploited these types of visual qualities in their works. Many of the original collages produced were around 10 cm x 15 cm, and were digitally enlarged to form the imagery for the billboard artworks.
11 - Her Majesty's Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival
Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival showcased some of Hobart’s best artists with artist talks, performances, zine-launches and events that encouraged participants to try their hand at drawing and creating publications. The SOAPBOX billboards showcased the works of three local artists: Leonie Brialey, Tanya Walker and Alyssa Bermudez.
10 - Make Your Mark: Respect
MAKE YOUR MARK: RESPECT was a youth initiative of the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery (TMAG) in partnership with the City of Hobart. Under the guidance of Chris Mister from the City of Hobart’s Youth Arts & Recreation Centre and TMAG project lead artist Pip Stafford, six young artists developed a series of films exploring ideas around identity in the age of social media. The artists created ‘profile pictures’ using redundant technology, which were then juxtaposed against images that represented who they really were. The footage was shot on super 8 film and was painstakingly hand-animated frame-by-frame using bobby pins and felt markers. The works displayed in this SOAPBOX project were created from individual frames taken from super 8 film.
9 - Hobart by Kudelka
Award-winning Hobart cartoonist and animator Jon Kudelka’s cartoons featured in this project, with three images from his book Hobart by Kudelka – a sketchy love-letter to Australia’s southernmost capital with a series of watercolours from the heart.
8 - Merry Consumerism and a Happy New Debt
November 2015 – February 2016
Merry Consumerism and a Happy New Debt is a project run in conjunction with our Public Art Program and the Youth Arts & Recreation Centre. Over the course of several months, six young artists developed work responding to how they felt about Christmas. They were encouraged to be honest about how they felt about the season and given the freedom to explore their own ideas.
The artists each had very different reactions and associations with the festive season. Some of the work was intensely personal, and others developed work that was more evocative of a feeling that exists around Christmas.
The young artists were: Yasmin Donelly, Mostafa Faraji, Nick Kirkham, Jess Materia-Rowland, Mahalia White-McColl, and Jacquelline Rix.
7 - Young Writers in the City
Young Writers in the City, a Tasmanian Writers Centre initiative funded by the City of Hobart, featured seven young writers exploring a range of inner-city spaces (city studios) throughout July and August 2015:
- Ben Armstrong – Elizabeth Street Mall
- Michael Blake – The Hobart Aquatic Centre
- Claire Jansen – Mathers House
- Britta Jorgensen – Hobart Town Hall
- Hannah Grey – Hadley’s Orient Hotel
- Hannah Warwarek – Hadley’s Orient Hotel
- Cassandra Wunsch – Elizabeth Street Mall
The young writers featured on the SOAPBOX billboards were Ben Armstrong, Michael Blake, Claire Jansen and Hannah Grey. Writer portraits were by Jack Robert-Tissot.
6 - Hobart From A Bus
Hobart From A Bus is a collection of photographs taken by Metro Tasmania bus drivers. The images were produced using a wide range of cameras, including phones, tablets, go-pro and other digital cameras. Hobart From A Bus provides a unique around-the-clock view of our beautiful city and surrounds from every angle through all seasons, from the world’s greatest office. See Hobart from a different perspective.
5 - Read More Books
Read More Books reflects a collaboration between the City of Hobart and Island Magazine. The billboards featured pearls of wisdom on the importance of reading from three of Tasmania’s most prominent authors: Amanda Lohrey, Rohan Wilson and David Walsh.
4 - Elder/HOOD
October 2014 – March 2015
Installed for Seniors Week 2014, Elder/HOOD is an ongoing photographic essay by local artist Andrew Wilson which explores inter-generational wisdom and how it is shared, Elder/HOOD aims to bring together community members’ tales of gaining wisdom through conversations with someone else – an aunty, neighbour, grandfather, child, your friendly barista, or even a stranger on a bus.
3 - Portraits of Invisible People
Portraits of Invisible People, featured extracts from an acclaimed contemporary arts project produced by Kickstart Arts in partnership with Headway rebuilding lives. Kickstart artists worked with people with acquired brain injuries, their families and friends, to tell their stories in a mixed media visual art installation, which originally opened to record audiences at Salamanca Arts Centre.
Kickstart Arts’ Portraits of Invisible People took its audience on a physical, emotional and intellectual journey through the personal stories of people whose lives had been changed forever due to a brain injury. The show asked its audience to consider the nature of fate, memory, grief, truth and relationship through extraordinary storytelling, metaphors of space, experience and time, video, stunning photography and sound.
2 - In this Place
January 2013 – March 2014
Historic images from around Mathers Place.
1 - What Do I Like About Living In Hobart?
December 2012 – January 2013
To coincide with the launch of the City of Hobart’s first Inner City Action Plan (ICAP) Project at Mathers Place, the inaugural SOAPBOX billboards featured the words and artworks of children from Kindergarten and Year 3 in answer to the question 'What do I like about living in Hobart?'.