Sounds Tasmanian: Organology exhibition

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Organology at Design Tasmania. Photo: Juanny Tan

Organology is the science that studies musical instruments including their classification and evolution throughout history and the different cultures, as well as the technical aspects, pertaining to how they produce and radiate sound.

Currently on show at Design Tasmania, Organology is now also the title of an exhibition of ‘curious and master-crafted’ instruments that all relate to Tasmania in some way.


Daniel Brauchli, cittern guitars. Photo: Juanny Tan

Falling into the classifications of electrophones, aerophones, membranophones, idiophones and chordophones, there are different kinds of guitars, mandolins, violins, drums and ‘sound machines’.

The makers and artists whose works are included are: Mat Ward, Dylan Banks, Scot Cotterell, Martin Blackwell, Garry Greenwood, Marcus Tatton, Dan Magnus, Emily Sheppard, Roger Bodley, Chris Henderson, Daniel Brauchli, Grant Maddock, Paul Barter, Mark Gilbert, Rex Greeno.


One of the ‘curious’ instruments displayed is this violin made from kelp by Chris Henderson. Photo: Juanny Tan

The exhibition was curated by Natalie Holtsbaum and presented for Mona Foma 2022. In her exhibition catalogue essay Natalie asks, and speaks, to the question, ‘Is music a more profound way of connecting than verbal or written language?’ Another common denominator in this collection is the use of Tasmanian timbers in a way that celebrates their particular tonality and ‘vibrational energy’.

See the exhibition catalogue here. Ornology may be seen at Design Tasmania until April 17, 2022

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