My first trip to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery was a bit of a rushed affair as I only had an hour before they were closing. As a result I completely missed a whole section of TMAG, the Bond Store Gallery. It is located within the old Bond Store which was built in the mid 1820’s as an additional storage facility for housing valuable foodstuffs and supplies. It faced directly onto the cove whereby goods were transferred into the store straight from the ships docked outside. The three levels above the current basement were used for storing dry goods (mainly grain). The lower level, used by Customs for bonded goods such as tobacco and spirits, was not open from the waterfront side, and was accessed either internally or from doors on the eastern side of the building.
Today the spirit of those colonial storage days is well preserved in the Bond Street Gallery which contains three distinct permanent exhibits, the flora,fauna and geology of Tasmania, the colonial era and the history of interactions with the native aboriginal people both positive and more infamously…negative. There are a number of interesting displays in addition to the main exhibits which delve into further details of this island’s fascinating history. There’s also a number of interactive exhibits as well as children’s activity areas dotted throughout the building. The names of workers who once carried out the hard labour within the store are painted on a number of walls, further adding to the museum within a museum atmosphere. In the basement there’s an additional space for occasional and special galleries and exhibits.
I spoke before about wanting to revisit TMAG again and again as there’s so much to see and you always see something new on each visit. Two visits down and I think there’ll be plenty more to come over the coming months.