Every part of Australia is,
always was and always will be,
Aboriginal land.

As a community gathering-place, a festival of arts, cultural exchange and celebration and as a site for the sharing of ideas and stories, Ten Days on the Island pays respect to the Palawa/Tasmanian Aborigines – The original owners and cultural custodians - of all the lands and waters across Lutruwita/Tasmania upon which our Festival takes place.

With thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre for place names and other words in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.

And … that’s (nearly) a wrap!

This week the Ten Days on the Island team made its way back from Hobart to Burnie after an EPIC three weekend adventure, having brought a kaleidoscope of amazing Festival experiences to communities across Tasmania.

Remembering a festival is recreating a collage of seemingly unrelated moments – moments of connection, moments of revelation, of sheer beauty or raw potential, moments of eloquence, unexpected moments of insight or beauty. Firelight at dawn on Devonport’s Bluff Beach at our opening event; a community kicking back in a tulip shed; the sheer grandeur of the Lisa Reihana in Pursuit of Venus [infected] installation and the transformation of the iconic Pulp building in Burnie; the intrepid first-arrivals to The Enchanted Island who set up their picnic blanket three hours in advance; the Bosnian community love-in at Božo Vrećo’s concert at MONA; the anticipatory audience buzz before the World Premiere of The Mares; the mist on kunanyi/Mt Wellington adding mystique to the Bushland experience …

Of the many brilliant performances, events and exhibitions we presented, invariably people ask me what my favourite things were, but that’s just impossible to answer. I adored the sheer physical exuberance of Gravity and Other Myths’ Out of Chaos …, the anarchy of Gob Squad’s Super Night Shot and the deeply felt emotion of Nigel Westlake and Lior’s Compassion. I was super-proud of the cast of The Mares stepping fearlessly up to the demands of Kate Mulvany’s powerful script and Leticia Caceres’ excellent direction, and my heart nearly burst watching compassionate future leaders emerge in The Children’s Party.

There are so many people to thank: our rock-star Ten Days’ team, and the extraordinary 2019 artists, of course, especially those Tasmanians who shared their deep insights into this place. I’ve had email after email from visiting artists and companies from around Australia and across the planet who drank in the experience of being here, expressing their delight of being in Tasmania as part of Ten Days on the Island.

With the experiences and valuable learnings of this year’s Festival now under our belts, in the coming days, weeks and months we will regroup, debrief and reposition ourselves toward Ten Days on the Island 2021. But not yet. For now we’ll allow ourselves the pleasure of remembering the special moments shared with our communities, moments made possible through the extraordinary power of art.

Oh, and just one more adventure – an ELEVENTH day on the island: our special celebration in the Huon Valley this weekend. Check out the website for details of the events but be very quick to register, because tickets are going fast!