Ability to Create

The Ability to Create exhibition was born in 2013 when the City of Hobart was approached by Freddy Lee-Mount, a community member living with a disability.

Freddy was committed to an idea of celebrating the creativity and talent of all ability artists in Hobart and creating awareness in the broader community of their talents and skills. Determined to develop a project with City of Hobart staff, Freddy identified groups who create regularly and worked with them to stage a fantastic exhibition at City of Hobart's Waterside Pavilion. Since then, the exhibition has occurred annually and grown from strength to strength in many amazing and creative ways.

The Ability to Create exhibitions are a platform for enhancing a sense of place, nurturing creativity, celebrating artistic excellence and, most importantly, connecting creative people.

Ability to Create NEXT LEVEL 2022 – A Sensory Exhibition

A Sensory Exhibition 2022

The City of Hobart recently received a Community Arts and Cultural Development (CACD) grant from Arts Tasmania to engage three arts practitioners, guided by Second Echo Ensemble as the leading mentor organisation. These three artists will collaborate with all ability artists and organisations to co-create works for the launch of next year's exhibition program Ability to Create NEXT LEVEL 2022 – A Sensory Exhibition.

We invited artists to apply through an EOI process which was assessed by a panel looking for specific skills in sound-scaping, digital content and installation/set design. The three artists were chosen based an providing an inspiring vision, a collaborative approach to working with all ability artists, creating a holistic and immersive creative experience, and they demonstrated a high level of creative and technical experience and expertise required to achieve the vision.

The three selected artists are:

Alex Moss

Alex Moss

Inspired by the patterns, complexity, and beauty Alex perceives in nature, he is driven to communicate and share his experience. Studying and teaching creative technology allowed him to develop skills and a creative practice resulting in "Questioning Perception", an interactive sound and light sculpture (SAE open night and Flicker Fest). He has since created work for the Lismore Lantern Parade, Ocean Shores Art Expo, Mullumbimby Sculpture Walk, Lismore Regional Art Gallery, and most recently UTAS.

Alex's practice is about transforming spaces and static objects through projected light, sound design, and interactive elements. Through his work he hopes to engage the senses and challenge perceptions of reality. Alex loves seeing people interacting with his installations, moving around spaces exploring their senses and perception. Concerns about our environmental impact and unsustainable trajectory are driving explorations into data visualisations, collaborations, installations in natural environments and the application of his skills to raise awareness and inspire action towards more sustainable behaviours and values.

Edith Perrenot

Edith Perrenot

Edith Perrenot is an artist of visual and performing art based in Hobart/nipaluna. Making is a core of Edith's works. Her interdisciplinary practice focuses on creating emotional and interactive environments. She creates "universes", "unique cosmologies", with a visual vocabulary inscribed in pop and naïve representation.

Describing her practice as process-based, she is interested in elements perceived as "common ground", representation and heritages, talking symbolically to the many and shaping shared "sensitive cultural landscapes". She departs from finding out what has the potential of uniting, not dividing us.

Edith's creations have a distinctive aesthetic and are conceptually "layered". She likes to tackle bigger subjects and/or purposes of the art by taking a free spirited angle approach, deliberately focusing on senses of hope, humour and joy.

Joel Roberts

Joel Roberts

A multi-faceted musician, Joel Roberts is a guitarist, composer, sound artist, teacher, instrument builder and workshop leader with a rich background in performing and community involvement.

His experience includes: writing music for theatre; live bands; audio technician; conducting musicals; festival co-ordinator; and choral singer in opera productions.

As a composer, Joel has a personal style for expressing his concerns about climate change, species loss, and the human experience, and these are expressed through notation, electronics, field recordings, improvisation, and include the sounds of nature, everyday objects and the spaces in which they are experienced.

Ability to Create Art Exhibition 2021

Ability to Create 2021

20 – 22 May 2021
"Connect and Reimagine"

The theme of this year's Ability to Create exhibition was 'Connect and Reimagine' which was born out of the isolation and disconnection artists felt in 2020 due to COVID-19. We embarked on a new initiative to engage three community artists to mentor and co-create work with the Ability to Create artists, in preparation for the exhibition.

Isabella Stone, the Artistic Director of Drill, Rachel Meyers, Tasmanian musician and composer and Tasmanian oil painter, Maggie Jeffries, joined the Ability to Create artists to develop new work to sit alongside the Ability to Create artworks in May 2021, in response to the theme 'Connection'.

The Hand Sculpture, by Peter Jeffries, used to promote this year's exhibition was inspired by the theme of seeking connection.

We also had Tasmanian artist Duncan Meerding who is an award winning furniture and lighting designer, join us as guest artist and keynote speaker.

We had over 85 exhibits from close to 150 artists. These included paintings on easels, pottery on plinths, canvas art works and free standing large tree sculptures. For the launch event we had 250 people attend to experience performances by the Sound Barriers, Langford Creative Drumming Circle and Second Echo Ensemble accompanied by Rachel Meyers and Isabella Stone.

If you would like to know more about the exhibition you can access a full description of the artwork and photo gallery here.

Ability to Create 2021 - Full description of art work(PDF, 211KB)

Harmony Tree

A black and white image of a tree and people standing around the tree drumming by Langford Support Services

This collaborative 3 metre sculpture called Harmony Tree, was created by over 37 artists. The colourful tree consists of twisted branches made from paper, wool and other fabrics. Suspended from the branches are lovingly made bees, beetles and other critters. There are also hand drawn giant jig saw puzzle pieces that represent connection for the Langford Support Services artists and community. At the base of the tree you will be enlightened by magical mushrooms in a variety of colours.

"The original concept for the finished sculpture was developed from a brainstorming session highlighting very different ideas about what connection can mean. The puzzles pieces that are hanging from the branches symbolise the individual thoughts coming together as one statement".

The tree was decorated over a series of weeks, allowing the individual artists to express themselves through colour and form resulting in an authentic representation of the artist's concept of connection.

By Veronica Norton, Julieanne Morgan, Rachael Hall, Rebecca Oakley, Anne Foster, David Bullen, Greg Blades, Peter Dickens, Hilary Bastick, Dawn Clark, Stacey Geard, Kruz Trethowan, Adam Knowles, David Ramsdale, Peter Strong, Roger Wells, Alison Booth, Shannon Bannister, Mel Small, Royce Belbin, Maddie Hepburn, Rosie Treasure, Anthony Barratt, Ash Williams, Bianca Jones, Peter Cox, Theresa Gebbie, Annita Sholihat, Sharon Caswell, Kathy McGregor, Zech Knight, Joe French, Allana Hyland, Christine Picolet, Matt Swards, Maggie Jefferies, Taylor Ashton.

Mother + Baby + Piano

Acrylic painting of a Mother holding her child in front of a piano

Medium – Acrylic paint on canvas

Painting by Rosemary Dean

"Mothers and babies connect with night time lullaby".

Acrylic painting of a mother holding her child being lulled to sleep by piano music by Rosemary Dean.

Michael Smart

A man standing in front of a wire fence at City Hall with his coloured canvas art work hanging in the background

"Different things, anything, everything, untitled, titled, squares, lines and colour. Modern Art, Abstract Art, Contemporary Art."

Medium – collection of canvas acrylic paintings

Twelve painted rectangles of assorted abstract colours and lines with yellow, blue and red dominating against a yellow backdrop. Perhaps inspired by Piet Mondrian, a post-modernist?

Adam Knowles

A man with glasses and a cap standing next to his photography exhibit at City Hall

Adam has a passion for adventure and creative expression with all five unframed photographs being very atmospheric in sepia and blood red tones depicting mainly night time urban images in and around Hobart.

Battery - An abandoned concrete battery cantonment with a striking centrepiece of a fire twirler as they spin and weave organic spiral flourishes, with only the light trail left behind.

Roundabout Fountain - The main feature is the historic railway roundabout fountain with shafts of nearby street lights piercing vertically through the centre of the fountain.

Squares - Strong geometric cubes in hollowed cement blocks like an urban honeycomb wall.

Tower - A pyramid like skyscraper shoots towards the sky with moody clouds gathering at the top of the pyramid which resembles a small white crystal at the peak. This appears to be attracting the clouds like a magnetic force.

Underpass - An empty city underpass at night with wet, black tarmac on the ground and white mosaic walls speckled with random green squares. The scene is illuminated by stark fluorescent lights overhead adding a touch of desolateness to the image.

Three Cups of Tea – interactive installation by Sue Hayes

Three ladies sitting together sharing a cup of tea

This tea installation is about connecting people through conversation, meeting strangers and becoming friends over a cuppa. The saying comes from a Balti proverb which Sue read in a book three cups of Tea written by Greg Mortensen about creating world peace one school at a time.

"The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honoured guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die".


A young man standing in front of an art display pointing to his drawing

Conversations in Colour

By Alex Macdonald with David Barnes

Medium – Drawing on paper with coloured texta and pencils

Expressive colourful texta drawings and mark making in orange blue, pink and yellow. Portrait orientation.

"Alex and David are friends who filled a space with shapes and colour. Each line was one friend speaking to the other through shapes, lines and colours. The end result is a picture of our conversation; one line at a time. We laughed a lot which is enlightened by the colours." Written by Alex Macdonald

Mosaic Support Services

Black and white photographs hanging on a black screen, paintings on easels along with pottery displayed on clear plinths by Mosaic Support Services

No place like home.

Medium – Photography

Artists: David & Lorraine Burr and Lawrence Dooley

By Julia Roberts

"Julia Roberts, in her role supporting the people enduring isolation, has captured images that show the crystal-clear impact that isolation had in their lives; From Lawrence's segregation from his church, to the particularly poignant impact it had on the engaged couple, David and Lorraine, who were forced to cancel their wedding three days before the big day". The photos depict each of the artists creating their pottery pieces, showing the different stages of the creation."

Image (Dave and Lorraine) - Husband and wife looking at one another through a window rainy day, their hands are pressed up against the glass in an attempt to connect.

Image (Flowers, Lorraine) - A heart-broken bride-to-be whose wedding was cancelled due to COVID-19, sitting at the end of her bed, gently handling her no longer needed bridal bouquet.

Image (Lawrence's pottery) - A black and white image of a man holding a pyramid shaped vase with smooth faces and sharp edges.

Image (David's pottery) - A black and white image of a man creating a small mug out of pottery. The surface is smooth and is painted with thick vertical stripes.

Image (Lorraine's bowl) - A black and white image of a woman proudly presenting her finished large display bowl made from pottery, the bowl features 5 stunning small circular disks built into the bottom of the bowl.

"The photographs and pottery in Mosaic's exhibition remind us of the intense period of restrictions, ushering us to reflect on the trying times, whilst granting a clearer sense of gratitude for the return of simple everyday interactions. Lawrence, David and Lorraine had been house mates for many years prior to the 2020 lockdown, and the usually very socially active trio struggled with isolation, and the disruption of their usual routines and networks".

"Connection is when we got out of the place and expressed our freedom by going downtown" - Written by Lawrence Dooley

The Missing Place

A man sitting at a table completing jigsaw puzzles with a display of framed art work behind him

Medium – Mixed media

By: Freddy Lee Mount

The installation is made up of 19 framed pieces of art in varied sizes exhibited on 6 free standing double doors. The theme of connection is reflected in the scattering of jigsaw pieces.

"My work this year is all about fitting in, always trying to be helpful saying hello with a smile. Connection means always being there to help if one can".

More works

Photo credit: Andrew Wilson