Grassland Art Gallery audiences have an opportunity to experience key video works from the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Collection, when the exhibition tours from February 13, 2019.
‘Physical Video’ tours extensively across the Queensland region through until May 2020.
QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said ‘Physical Video’ focused on performance and theatricality in video art from the 1970s to the present.
‘These vibrant and thought-provoking works demonstrate how artists use the physical gestures and actions of the human body to illustrate social, political and aesthetic issues,’ Mr Saines said.
‘Each work engages the body, and captures acts of endurance alongside playful exploration of elements such as air, water and fire.
‘We are thrilled to have the opportunity to tour this accessible and stimulating exhibition, which is designed with multi-purpose gallery spaces in mind, he said.
Yup – that’s right, Tambo takes the title as the oldest town in Outback Queensland – founded in 1863!
Grab a brochure from the Visitor Information Centre and follow pathways around the oldest town in the west; many of the original buildings are still standing today.
At the town’s heritage precinct, friendly locals are only too happy to chat and share the area’s sheep and wool industry, racing heritage and our early communications. While there, try your hand at Morse Code messaging.
5. TAMBO IS THE HEADWATERS OF FIVE RIVER SYSTEMS PLUS A DAM
If you imagine Outback Queensland as a house, Tambo would be the roof, with all annual rains sliding off into the five river systems that stem from the town.
Streaming down from the north, the water flows into the Burdekin, Bulloo, Fitzroy, Lake Eyre, and Murray River systems.
6. TAMBO MAKES FOR A GREAT COFFEE STOP ALONG THE MATILDA WAY
If you’ve only got time for a coffee and cake, you’re spoilt for choice in Tambo.
Make a pit stop at Cindy’s Coffee and Gifts in Tambo, where flowers and knick knacks are sprinkled throughout the café and the menu is just as sweet as the family who runs it, with the caramel coffee cake a must-order.
Or you can relax on the verandah nestled amongst the landscaped gardens of Fanny Mae’s café, while munching on their special ‘Fanny Burger’, an Outback experience of its own.
7. TAMBO HAS A CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE
As you walk past the Grassland Art Gallery in Tambo, you might just mistake it for a corner store – the gallery kept the old-fashion shop front that once stood in its place.
The purpose-built display space presents an ever-changing program of local, regional and touring art exhibitions. A selection of handcrafted giftware is on display, just the place to find that one-off present for the hard-to-buy-for.
8. YOU CAN KICK BACK BY THE WATER
For a relaxing afternoon in Tambo, head to the Tambo Dam to stroll along its banks and the parklands, take a dip, have a picnic, or get out on the dam for an afternoon of water activities like canoeing and skiing.
For a change of scenery, take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the mighty Barcoo; the 3km Coolibah Walk starts at the town dam and circles back into town. Learn about the local flora and take a side track to site of the only Qantas crash to ever occur, yes here in Tambo!
Have you ever visited the teddy capital of Australia?
If you haven’t, then you better pack the car and get tracking to the outback town of Tambo, where the famous Tambo Teddies have called home since 1993.
In celebration of the Tambo Teddies‘ 25th Anniversary, here are 25 reasons to love these cuddly little creatures.
1. IT WAS THE TECH START-UP OF THE NINETIES
The idea for of starting up a teddy making business came about in the early nineties when a long-standing drought took over the outback, creating a downfall for farmers.
The government sought to bring new industries to the region and presented workshops to outback residents on starting new businesses in different industries.
The teddy business was considered an innovative start-up of the nineties and the rest is history!
2. THE ORGANISATION WAS STARTED BY A GROUP OF WOMEN
Three local Tambo women by the names of Charm Ryrie, Helen Sargood and Mary Sutherland began the famous Tambo Teddy business. While Helen has sadly passed away, Charm and Mary will always have the teddies in their hearts.
3. ALL TEDDIES ARE MADE OF 100% AUSTRALIAN SHEEP WOOL
Tambo Teddies are known for two things – their 100% cuteness factor and that they are 100% Australian sheepskin-made teddies.
4. THE TEDDIES WILL ALWAYS BE CONNECTED TO TAMBO
To play tribute to the teddy’s Tambo origin, every single bear created is named after a local station, as well as having its own Christian name.
5. THERE ARE TWO MAIN TEDDY BEAR FAMILIES
To distinguish between the types of teddies, the bears were separated into families – the Tobys and the Basils.
The Basils consist of a teddy bear made of one colour whether it be a cream, brown, green or blue. The Tobys are made as multi-coloured patchworks, each different.
6. YOU CAN WATCH THEM MAKE YOUR VERY OWN TEDDY
Staying a while in Tambo? Order your teddy and stop by to watch the team of sewers create your own stuffed toy. Learn what’s involved and how each piece is carefully sewn together with love.
7. SPECIAL REQUESTS ARE WELCOME
Love the teddies but have a personality or outfit in mind? Ask the ladies for a special request bear, where you can style the bear however you please from ballerina to builder.
The outfits take approximately a couple of weeks to fulfil, as the dedicated seamstress Josie (who has been sewing outfits for the bears since the beginning) puts in endless effort to make every minute detail of the outfit come to life.
8. IT TAKES 19 PIECES TO MAKE UP A TEDDY
You might think of a Tambo Teddy as one ball of cuddly softness, but there are actually 19 pieces of material that create each finished product. From the ears to the paws, each piece is sewn together to make a seamless teddy.
9. THEY ARE HANDMADE IN THE SHOP BY A TEAM OF SEWERS
Every single Tambo Teddy is 100% created in the Tambo workshop – making it 100% outback owned and operated.
10. IT TOOK A YEAR TO CREATE THE FINAL DESIGN OF THE FIRST TEDDY
After nearly a year of designing, trial and error, samples, and prototypes, the final teddy design was chosen.
That final prototype has sat proudly in the Tambo store for the past 25 years, and the same design is still used today.
11. THE FIRST TEDDY WAS CREATED IN 1993
When we talk about nimble and agile business strategy – Tambo Teddies lives and breathes it. The first official teddy was then created in 1993 and sold the same year.
The first teddy, Macfarlene Mary, was sold to the local police Sargent. With a little tag with a number one on it, she was the beginning of a flourishing business.
12. OVER 44,000 TEDDIES HAVE SINCE BEEN CREATED
Over the past 25 years, thousands of teddies have been handcrafted within the Tambo store. Teddies of different styles and colours have been created specially for thousands of people from across the globe with over 44,000 in their fur-ever homes now.
13. THEY HAVE THEIR UNIQUE NUMBER PRINTED ON THEIR BUM-TAG
When you purchase a Tambo Teddy, you can see how many teddies were created before yours by simply checking the bum-tag, where its creation number is printed.
This helps the organisation keep track of how many teddies they have created over the past 25 years, and gives each bear a special identification number.
14. TAMBO TEDDIES HAVE TRAVELLED THE WORLD AND MET SOME IMPORTANT PEOPLE
Visitors from all over the world who have wandered into the Tambo store have taken home a teddy to remind them of the Australian outback.
Many teddies have been made for special occasions, with one carefully made teddy gifted to Prince George upon his arrival to Queensland in 2014.
15. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE IN TAMBO TO PURCHASE A TAMBO TEDDY
Did you leave Tambo without getting your teddy? Don’t fret, these cuddly creatures are sold online and all across Australia.
Stocked in Tasmania, New South Wales and up and down Queensland, these teddies can be found in toy stores, teddy bear shops, news agencies, and boutique gift shops.
16. THEY COME IN A RANGE OF COLOURS AND SIZES
Think every colour and shade of the rainbow! You can request certain colours to make your teddy personalised to your taste. There’s also two sizes to choose from.
17. THE ORGANISATION IS STILL RUN BY LOCAL WOMEN
As time went on, the original three women who began Tambo Teddies agreed it was time to pass the teddy baton to other local women who would continue the legacy of the Tambo Teddies.
Alison Shaw and Tammy Johnson are now the women behind the operations.
18. YOU CAN PURCHASE MORE THAN A TEDDY
If you already own a Tambo Teddy and have given them as gifts to everyone you know, then you don’t have to fret about what to get next. There’s a whole range of products available online and in-store that are made from the same soft sheepskin.
From blankets and slippers to seat belt covers and stubby coolers, you can set yourself up with a Tambo Teddy kit!
19. YOU CAN ALSO GET A CUDDLY CREATURE OF A DIFFERENT KIND
If bears aren’t your thing, you can purchase a Koala, Koala Bickie Bear, and an echidna – all made with the same 100% Australian Sheepskin and cuddle factor.
TAKE A PIECE OF THE OUTBACK HOME WITH YOU BY PURCHASING A STOCKMAN TEDDY
Top of the teddy range is Mr and Mrs Stockman, who are the only teddies with an official outfit.
Both are decked out in hats, moleskins, check shirts, and bear-as-a-bone coats. Mr Stockman even has a swag and hand-crafted whip, ready for work.
21. EACH TEDDY COMES WITH A SPECIAL MESSAGE
Just to add to the cuteness, with each purchase of a Tambo Teddy, you receive a poem that introduces that teddy’s name.
22. THEY MAKE FOR SPECIAL GIFTS
There’s nothing quite as endearing as the gift of a teddy bear, and the availability of special requests gives the opportunity for a personalised present that takes ‘It’s the thought that counts’ to a whole new level.
23. THE TEDDIES HAVE THEIR OWN PICNIC
Since 2011, the annual Teddy Bears Picnic takes over the town of Tambo for a day filled with fun, games, rides, and of course, teddy bears.
Now a biannual event, the picnic brings together families and friends from across the Outback to celebrate all things cuddly, with the Teddy Bear Parade kicking the day off.
24. THERE HAVE BEEN LESS THAN 1,000 LIMITED EDITION BEARS MADE
Even though over 44,000 bears have been created so far, there have been only 8 limited edition series of teddies. With only 100 made of each, the best way of seeing the limited edition model is in store where seven of the eight editions are on display.
Each special edition was dedicated to an early settler of Tambo, playing tribute to the evolution of the town the bears call home.
25. THERE’S A SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION TEDDY ON SALE NOW
Specially created for the 25th anniversary, the Jubilee Teddy is now available for purchase. Be quick, as there are only 100 of these bears being made and it even sings an original song.
You might look at an Outback Queensland map and wonder where on earth to start, but there are parts you can travel and get virtually the whole box and dice in just a few days.
An ideal place to do this is in the central west, and Winton is the perfect place to start. In a short, 5 drive-day road trip from here, you can see some of the outback’s most famous icons, get onto a bit of gravel, stay in great pubs and meet bucket-loads of characters.
Up for the adventure? Here’s how to do it. This itinerary assumes you’re waking up on your first morning in Winton, ready for action.
Banjo Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda, his famous ballad about a swagman camped by a billabong, when staying near Winton in 1895.
The song was first performed in Winton’s North Gregory Hotel – and you can just picture it as you sit barside for a bevvy – a must-do for any first-timer in Winton.
During your visit, discover the real story behind the song at the Qantilda Museum, shop for opals and visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. You’ll see the skeletons of three dinosaurs found in the area and watch paleontologists at work. You can even join in with a prep-a-dino package if you’re a mad-keen dinosaur fan. (For more dinosaur action, take a detour and tackle this trail.)
But it’s not just dinosaur bones and poetry here, either. Winton is known as the Hollywood of the Outback and it’s fast becoming the set of choice for up-and-coming filmmakers. Thanks to Winton’s Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, this reputation is being firmly cemented.
Even if you miss Vision Splendid, you can still catch a movie al-fresco at the Royal Open Air Theatre, which has been screening movies since 1918.
For convenience, check into the Boulder Opal Motor Inn. Its on-site restaurant gives you very little reason to leave – perfect after a big day exploring.
Stay in Longreach and visit the Qantas Founders Museum, just before the town on the right. You won’t miss it… there’s a Qantas 747 parked there.
This is an award-winning attraction with an array of exhibits, artifacts and displays that tell the airline’s story. Interactive exhibits make it fun for kids, too.
If you’re into aircraft and technical stuff, you can get a guided tour of the 747 and an old Qantas 707 as part of the museum admission, but it will cost you more. The 747 wing walk involves an extra outlay.
Lunch and two or three hours at the museum will prepare you for a sunset cruise and dinner on the Thomson River. Take your pick:
Local tour operator Kinnon & Co. (aka Outback Pioneers) is into unashamed Australiana at its riverside bush camp, including lovely stew, damper, billy tea stirred, not swung, and without gum leaves (blame Workplace Health and Safety), bush poetry and more. Take an Esky for your alcohol needs.
Another operator, the long-established Outback Aussie Tours, also have a bush camp and offer a cruise, dinner and show, focused on a more sophisticated, table-service menu and live music. They’re licensed, too!
Whichever of these you choose, you’ll get to cruise the Thomson, which is quite something in the middle of the outback. Back to everyday reality, you must watch for roos on the way towards Ilfracombe. Believe it, they’re waiting for you.
DAY 4: LONGREACH TO BARCALDINE (107KM)
How not to make enemies in the west: Get the name right. It’s pronounced Bar-call-dun, with the accent on the ‘call’. Say it any other way and you’ll be called a yabby, or worse.
Barcaldine, or ‘Barky’ to use safer syllables, has beautiful artesian water, which explains why it’s so green. It also has the Australian Workers Heritage Centre, a museum which celebrates, well, working history, in an extensive, park-like complex of buildings housing numerous displays and exhibitions.
Barcaldine’s ill-fated Tree of Knowledge was poisoned by unknown vandals in 2006, so its corpse was resurrected and set in an impressive memorial. It’s seen as the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party because the town was the hot spot of the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike. It’s worth seeing for the design of the memorial alone.
Barcaldine is also known for goats and goat races, and the bloke to talk to about them is Tom Lockie, of Artesian Country Tours. A passionate bushie who likes a yarn, he runs day trips and longer tours in the region.
Be prepared for a wonderful earful if you can catch him – he loves the region’s connection with infamous rustler Harry Redford and bushman Nat Buchanan.
Overnight Barcaldine; elsewhere if you got the name wrong. The Shakespeare Hotel on the main drag is comfortable, but there are a lot of accommodation options.
DAY 5: BARCALDINE TO BLACKALL TO TAMBO (209KM)
Drive onto Blackall, a town steeped in shearing and wool industry history. Explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell passed through in 1846 and the town was formed in the 1860s.
It has an artesian spa and is where you’ll find the original Black Stump.
Stop at the Ram Park Visitor Information Centre and ask for Stu Benson, a genuine character who will take you back in time and beguile you with his stories. If he offers to drive you around town, don’t refuse.
Try to get a couple of hours in at the Blackall Woolscour for a great heritage fix. Built in 1908, it’s Australia’s only remaining steam-driven wool washing plant, and its local historical association has done a great job in maintaining it. Look out for volunteer and Outback artist Bob ‘Willo’ Wilson, another lovely bush character.
Tambo, 100km down the road, was also founded on sheep and is said to be the oldest town (founded 1863) in western Queensland. It was first known as Carrangarra but was renamed Tambo in 1868.
Teddy bears are the go here for tourists. Souvenir-hunting tip for grandparents: young children love these stuffed bears. Three local women began making them in 1992 to help the town during drought and a crash in wool prices. The quality-made bears were an instant hit.
Twenty-four years and about 40,000 bears later, Tambo Teddies is still going, now run by three other local women.
Make sure you roll into town before 5pm on weekdays if you want to visit the teddy bear outlet. If you have time, ask about the heritage building trail and grab a coffee at Fanny Mae’s Café next door while you’re at it.
If you’re planning to stay in Tambo, the Royal Carrangarra Hotel is a traditional pub, which has a name for serving good meals. There are more accommodation options in Blackall, but if you’re heading back there, watch for roos, which are thick and suicidal from dusk. The Prince of Wales Hotel in Blackall is friendly and has a smart dining room.