Exhibition Dates: 7 February – 8 March, 2014
Toured by the National Portrait Gallery
Opening Friday 6 February, 6 pm
Guest Speaker: Andrew Cowen, 2014 NPPP Award Recipient
In Conversation with the Curator, Dr Sarah Engledow: Saturday 7 February 11 am
Photography is the dominant portrait medium of our time. The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. The National Portrait Gallery provides $25,000 to the major Award recipient.
Permanent Collection Corner
Devonport Regional Gallery’s permanent collection is a rich and diverse repository. Comprising of over 22,000 accessioned items acquired since 1973, it includes textiles, ceramics, glass, sculpture, paintings and works on paper by iconic Australian and Tasmanian artists. The pinnacle of the collection is the well-known Robinson Collection of photographic negatives, while the gallery also holds the Moon Collection of nineteenth century textiles and decorative arts, and a large number of watercolours and paintings by renowned North-West Coast artist Owen Lade. Other notable works include that of David Boyd, John Olsen, Clifton Pugh, Lloyd Rees, George Lambert, John Coburn, Edith Holmes, Dorothy Stoner, Bea Maddock, Pat Brassington, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Christopher Pyett, Grahame King, Ray Arnold, Les Blakebrough and Philip Wolfhagen. The Permanent Collection Corner will display a work to coincide with each exhibition in the main gallery, showcasing pieces in their own right and promoting the collection during the relocation project. It is a great opportunity for the community to view pieces rarely seen and to have a better understanding of what the collection holds. We hope you will enjoy them and we welcome your feedback!
Auntie Lola Greeno, Lialeetea, 2006, Green and pearl-white maireener shells and grey-black gull shells, 180 cm. Purchased by Devonport City Council, 2006
Growing up on Cape Barren and Flinders Islands, Lola Greeno learnt the craft of shell necklace-making from her mother Valerie. Passed down the generations to their daughters by local Aboriginal women, necklace-making is itself a cultural ritual and a form of storytelling with references to coastal conservation. As Julie Gough recently noted:
Shell necklaces are the most visible communicator of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture. They encapsulate the story of a resilient people: survival from the ordeal of European colonisation, return from the sanctuary of the islands and local reinstatement of traditional practices. They also travel across time. In continuing this ancient custom, Lola Greeno inherits its rights and responsibilities.
Shell collection is determined according to location, season and tides with the process of selecting, drying and stripping, preparing and stringing often taking months. Sadly, she notes that there is a change of colour from the maireener shells collected in the nineteenth century to the ones she collects now; the latter are less intensely green and luminous, perhaps an indication of subtle changes in the oceans and coastal areas.
The shell arrangement is specific to each craftswoman and Greeno has developed a refined style, both traditional and contemporary, which is truly hers. Her mother’s favourite arrangement of black and white shells is still made by Greeno, who honours her mother’s memory by continuing the same arrangement.
These wearable objects are also stories – of island birds and native animals, of human interactions with the land and specifically the coast, and of the longest living culture’s continuity and steadfast presence on their land, Tasmania.0
 Julie Gough, ‘Lola Greeno: Cultural Caretaker’, in Lola Greeno and Julie Gough, Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels, Living Treasures, Masters of Australian Craft, Object: Australian Design Centre, Sydney, 2014