It has been an uplifting experience watching the wooden boats as part of the now finished Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart. Standing on the deck at the Jetty Café and Art at the Point Gallery (Dennes Point, Bruny Island) one was transported back in time, especially seeing the Caravel Notorius, a copy of a 15th century Portuguese pirate ship, in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Not much imagination was required to visualise a plundering of treasure whenever it could be found.

Art at the Point - Pirate Ship Notorius
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Caravel ‘Notorius,’ a copy of a 15th century Portuguese pirate ship in Tasmania

Art at The Point: Wooden Boats, Pirate Ships and Treasure

by Michael Morgan

The new exhibition Nautical Matters showing at Art at the Point Gallery is a treasure trove for the spectator and collector of high quality well crafted art and inspired craft. Art at the Point as a venue for Bruny Island artists is comparable to any mainland gallery. One of the great advantages of purchasing from such a venue is that local artists, craftspeople and designers get positive help which encourages their independent thinking and in turn the buyers get works that are uniquely touched by the hand of the creator. Examples on show at the moment highlight this uniqueness.


Margaret Vandenberg is such an example with her Objet Trouve and assemblages titled A Ship of Fools. These 30 separate pieces of whimsical nautical comment are put together from discarded objects found by chance and made into two and three dimensional wall pieces. Weathered flotsam and jetsam that create artefacts as from antiquity.

Art at the Point - Fleet Installation by Margaret Vandenberg
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Fleet installation by Margaret Vandenberg, Art at the Point Gallery, Bruny Island

Margaret Vandenberg also shows a painting The Ship of Fools inspired by Sebastian Brandt’s poem 1494. This poem is a key to all her works.

We are those fools who cannot rest
In the dull earth we left behind,
But burned with passion for the best,
And drank frenzy from the wind,
The world where small men live with ease,
Fades from our unregretful eyes,
And blind across unchartered seas,
We stagger on our enterprise.

Art at the Point - Gallery, Bruny Island
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Fleet Installation by Margaret Vandenberg, co-owner of Art at the Point

In contrast is the photography by Wendy How of environment and ships encased in designer glass framing.

Art at the Point - Wendy How
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‘Wooden Boats’ – Photograph by Wendy How

Art at the Point: a Collection of Works

  • Barbara Tassell has manipulated digital photographs
    that evoke aged water colour washes.
  • Marlene Schmidt uses water colour and pencil and ink.
    These intimate small studies of fish and gentle observations
    are worthy of a deluxe edition book on Natural History.
  • Lois Bury also uses water colour to illustrate the covers
    of her handmade notebooks.
  • Catriona Fitzgerald in making her hand thrown glazed
    and fired pottery has the ability to give all her works a
    “Zen” like quality of refinement.
  • Kate Mills has a rainbow collection of lamp worked glass
    and vibrant coloured resin jewellery.

Michael Morgan shows vibrant enamel like oil paintings…

Art at the Point - Michael Morgan
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Michael Morgan from Bruny Island and a selection of his vibrant artwork

There are drawers and cabinets of jewellery and object d’art to entice the viewer.


The exhibition Nautical Matters at Art at the Point Gallery, 18 Main Road, Dennes Point is open from 10:00 am to 4:00pm until 21st March, 2013.

Michael and Gabrielle Morgan moved from Phillip Island in Victoria
to live on Bruny Island last March.  The semi-seclusion suits them both;
Gabrielle likes to pursue her writing interests, while Michael paints.
Michael is also keen to write articles reviewing art, and Think Tasmania
will be happy to share them. Eventually Michael would like to cover all
of Tasmania, but will start at this stage with Bruny Island and Hobart.

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Map: Art at the Point Gallery, Bruny Island Tasmania