Have you been to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart since its reopening? It was closed for a while during a major restoration and refurbishment project. But now it’s back; open to the public and bigger and better than ever! There’s a lot to experience at the site, so we usually attack one or two sections at a time. During our overnight stay at The Old Woolstore, we chose to explore the Bond Store Galleries.

Bond Store Galleries - Historic Hydrolic Lift
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There’s much to discover at TMAG, even before you enter the historic complex

Bond Store Galleries: Much to Discover

All of TMAG is fantastic… what’s not to love? But the Bond Store Galleries are really special. No pictures (well, none from our collection anyway!) can portray the true beauty of this heritage building, let alone the exhibits inside. So just consider this article and these photos a little prompt to make your own discovery.


 

The TMAG collections in the Bond Store Galleries are spread over three levels. The upper two levels are accessed via the most magnificent spiral staircase… an exhibit in itself. There’s also a lift for the mobility impaired.

Bond Store Galleries - Staircase
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Access to the upper levels of the Bond Store Galleries is via a magnificent spiral staircase

You should check out the wombat on the ground floor near the courtyard entrance. The exhibition is titled: “Our living land: Encountering an upside down world” and very appropriately features a common wombat standing upright like a bear. He was posed by an English taxidermist, unfamiliar with the four-legged stance of the Australian creature. We found that quite amusing, but… you know, small things!


 

Level two of the Bond Store Galleries is themed “Our changing land: Creating Tasmania”. The period of focus from the 1800s to 1901 reveals much about the social, environmental and creative development of the new state.

Bond Store Galleries - Welcome to Van Diemen's Land
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Welcome to Van Diemen’s Land at the Bond Store Galleries (TMAG Hobart)

Level three (upstairs again) is called: “Our land: Parrawa! parrawa! Go away!” It’s quite a fascinating exhibition detailing the story of the Aboriginal people following the arrival of British colonists in Tasmania, including the Black War (1828 – 1832). Take some time to watch and listen at the seat placed strategically between two films, screened simultaneously onto opposite walls. One tells the tale of battles from the perspective of the Europeans; the other from an Aboriginal perspective. Most likely a deliberate ploy, concurrent projections make the scene confusing and confronting and emotional, all at once. You “betray” one side of the argument every time you turn your attention to the opposing combatant.

Bond Store Galleries - Aboriginal History
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Level three of the Bond Store Galleries, showcasing Aboriginal history in Tasmania

But… we won’t go on and on! You’ll no doubt form your own opinions when you visit the historic Bond Store Galleries yourself. We were impressed, and we’ll go back again and again. Here’s just a few photos from our collection, and we hope you enjoy them.

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Bond Store Galleries: mouse-over slideshow to control speed and direction.

If you have a collection of photos and a relevant story to accompany them, please contact Think Tasmania. We love to share new and interesting material with all our readers via the website, newsletter and social media.

Enter the Bond Store Galleries via the main courtyard entrance facing Campbell Street in Hobart. Admission to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery is technically free, but a donation is suggested and worth every penny you can spare on the day. You’ll be given a map listing all the facilities, which include a visitor information desk, courtyard cafe and museum shop. For more information: visit their website, phone (03) 6211 4134 or follow Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery on Facebook.

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Map: Bond Store Galleries, Hobart Tasmania