Contemporary Art Tasmania is a lead Tasmanian art space dedicated to contemporary and experimental art. CAT provides a dynamic context through which contemporary art, ideas and communities flourish.

Tess Campbell and Sam Mountford, Boundaries, 2022. Installation image. Photo: Rémi Chauvin.

CAT’s history is traceable from the foundation of Chameleon contemporary art space in 1982, through 20 years operating as Contemporary Art Services Tasmania (CAST) and, from 2013, as Contemporary Art Tasmania.

CAT is a member of the Contemporary Art Organisations (Australia) national network (CAOA) and NETS Australia (National Exhibitions Touring Support Australia) and is supported by Creative Australia, Arts Tasmania and through the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy.

Exhibitions

Contemporary Art Tasmania provides a program of experimental art exhibitions characterised by innovation and energy. The program responds to current developments in artistic production within the context of the region alongside national and global trends. Six major exhibitions and other projects are developed annually for the North Hobart gallery space, along with additional public events, engagement activities and projects presented at off-site venues around the state and nationally. Contemporary Art Tasmania introduces audiences to new and experimental art that may stimulate reflection or interrogate and engage with cultural currency and new ideas.

We provide assistance to sustain, stimulate and develop Tasmanian artists and their practice. We initiate and present projects that offer industry networking and critical engagement activities for artists and also provide curators with exhibition mentorship opportunities.

The Contemporary Art Tasmania Program Committee provides guidance around the development of the Exhibition Program. The committee is structured to include an ever changing representation from artists, curators and arts professionals who are actively engaged with contemporary practice.

Touring

Contemporary Art Tasmania is affiliated with NETS Australia (National Exhibition Touring Support Australia), the national collective of state and territory-based touring agencies. CAT maintains a program to assist the Tasmanian public gallery sector to develop and tour exhibitions. The program is focussed around public galleries and greater access to contemporary art, craft and design in Tasmania and nationally.

The Touring Program is determined by a Touring Committee comprised either the Director, or their representative, from of each professional-level public art galleries in Tasmania. The Touring Committee meets annually to assess applications made to the Touring Program and the Exhibition Development Fund (EDF).

Georgia Lucy, Hypolimnus pedderensis (foreground) and When the sharks go marching in -– ‘like the vagina wall at Mona but it’s our teeth’ (background), 2023. Image: Rémi Chauvin

Studios

Since 2010, CAT has hosted four studio spaces positioned above its offices in North Hobart. The studio program has become a core component of our organisation, providing a prized contribution to the development of contemporary art culture in Tasmania.

CAT is dedicated to supporting a diverse range of artistic practice, providing opportunity to artists at different stages of their careers and to maintaining inclusivity through an inter-generational selection. Tasmanian-based artists are awarded a 12-month residency by application, accessed through the CAT Program Committee. During their one-year residency, artists are invited to trial and present new work in the CAT Project space.

Jake Walker, studio resident, 2021. Photo: Rèmi Chauvin.

Engagement

The Contemporary Art Tasmania Engagement Program is developed to encourage dialogue, debate and thinking around contemporary art, ideas and practice. The program encompasses artist and curator talks, discussion events, education initiatives, symposia, conferences, screenings, workshops and project-specific events.

The digital program: the podcast, What are you looking at? and the writing project, Journal, complement CAT’s suite of engagement offerings. These programs jointly expand on concepts from across the annual program and explore current thinking from both the wider arts ecology and unrelated disciplines.

Professional Development

Professional development programs deliver targeted support and opportunity to Tasmanian artists and arts professionals. Mentorships in curating and governance are offered annually, while the Shotgun artist-development project operates through a flexible model and mutable program. Additional professional development activity is responsive to the transforming art world.

Grace Herbert, Increase Productivity, Shotgun 7, exhibition opening, 2019. Photo: Remi Chauvin.

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