Maria and John Grist have tramped over kunanyi since the 1970s, visiting its most remote places, seeking its secrets.
While at home they have recorded its stories, researched historical maps and old newspaper accounts, and collected images from garage sales, online marketplaces and image dealers.
They have amassed over a thousand historical images, including 60 unique glass plate negatives, 90 glass lantern slides, 40 stereoscopic photographs, and six albums of postcards.
For the first time, from this exceptional collection, over 100 pieces have been selected to show us The Mountain as the Grists have come to know it: not only a superbly beautiful natural landscape but also as an extraordinarily rich cultural landscape.
From the earliest colonial days The Mountain has appeared in images of Hobart. Great painters have captured its awesome beauty, its sublime moods. But its treasure has been extracted too. A staggering forest of eucalypts was chopped to build Hobart (including the huge beams holding up the Salamanca warehouses) leaving behind a complex of sawpits, log slides and mill remnants: much of it still intact. The woodcutters’ and ice-makers’ bridle paths were expanded by the watergetters into pipeline tracks and Australia’s early bushmen cut new ones, creating a network of walking tracks that criss-cross the entire Mountain, leading from the edge of Hobart to the Pinnacle. Here and there, they built shelter sheds. During the Art Nouveau era of the 1890s-1920s mountain hut lovers constructed another unique complex of richly ornamented, rustic weekenders in picturesque, ferny glades. (A few huts remain hidden on the Mountain to this day.) “The Huts” achieved international fame, admired by local, national and international visitors.
And still the Mountain inspires, but it has always been so. In the indigenous way of thinking, kunanyi is an icon of their mighty progenitors’ creative powers.
This complex layering of economic, social and aesthetic sites in its superb natural setting —so comprehensively documented —makes kunanyi, arguably, the richest associative cultural landscape in Australia.
Now you can discover Australia’s Sublime Mountain.
Wednesday 2 – Monday 14 September 2020
10:00am – 4:00pm daily
Image Credit: Photograph courtesy of Maria and John Grist.