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Have you seen The Distiller yet?

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Image Credit: Tricky Walsh and Mish Meijers with The Distiller. Photograph: Julie StonemanIf you have visited TMAG lately you might have come across the spectacular new contemporary public artwork by two local artists, Tricky Walsh and Mish Meijers.

Tricky and Mish were commissioned to create a contemporary public artwork through the Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme that is managed by arts@work through Arts Tasmania. The work now takes pride of place in the newly renovated Link Foyer at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

The public art program enriches public buildings and spaces, enhances the general public’s access to and understanding of contemporary art and nurtures a sense of place that informs our identity as Tasmanians.

The Distiller uses standard museum classifications such as geological, botanical, biological and technological and incorporates mutated information and abstracted outcomes into glass vessels which convey part museum display part laboratory experiment.

It is an engaging and imaginative work and is a wonderful addition to the public art collection that forms a unique part of the redeveloped museum.

arts@work manages the Tasmanian Government Art Site Scheme which was the first of its kind in Australia. It is of great historic value having documented 34 years of artistic practise in Tasmania and continues to commission works that form a comprehensive state collection, held in trust for the people of Tasmania.

The Scheme provides opportunities for Tasmanian artists to create work for the public sphere and to become part of a significant public collection that reaffirms the enriching and empowering presence of creativity at all levels of public life. Commission opportunities are available on an ongoing basis; visit the website for more information and for current commissions –

More photos of the installation of The Distiller can be viewed at the Arts Tasmania Facebook Page.

Artist’s Statement

The Distiller

The Distiller hovers. It is part machine, part mythical reconstruction – a one-to-one scale model of an all-processing apparatus which hovers up in the eaves of the building like an observant and benign creature, gradually processing the contents of the museum, including, at times – the audience itself.

Using the form of a scale model it allows the audience to complete the possibility of its form in their own imaginations.  Inspired in part by the working armatures and dioramas in the Natural History Museum in New York, this work likewise is the structure of the imagined and asks the viewers, upon their entry into the Museum to start suspending their disbelief and embrace the wonder of possibility.

Using standard museum classifications such as Geological, Botanical, Biological and technological The Distiller mutates all of the incoming information and displays the abstracted outcomes of its processing in the glass vessels which sit partly between museum display, and laboratory experiment.

Tricky Walsh and Mish Meijers

Image Credit: Tricky Walsh and Mish Meijers with The Distiller. Photograph: Julie Stoneman