Art, Philanthropy and the Devil

The country’s Tasmanian devil population has been severely impacted by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease, which continues to spread through wild populations. But the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is working hard to help animals recover in the wild.

And now Gold Coasters have the opportunity to help save this fierce little character from the scourge of facial tumour disease, and at the same time acquire a very special piece of art.

Our current age is often called the Anthropocene, usually referring to the negative impacts of humanity on the earth’s ecosystems, but human ingenuity can also intervene in a positive way to solve problems thrown up by nature – the plight of the endearingly unsociable Tasmanian Devil being a case in point.

In recent years most Australians have become aware of the disastrous impact of facial tumour disease on these unique native animals.  The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program was established to support a two-pronged campaign against this terrible disease; firstly by establishing a disease-free insurance population of Devils and secondly through research to create a vaccine that will give a degree of immunity to the wild Devil population.

Like most good works however, saving the Tasmanian Devil requires serious funding. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal was established to allow concerned members of the community, both individual and corporate, to play a philanthropic role in the efforts to ensure a future for this very special creature.

Coast artist, Otto Schmidinger, and Hillier Skuse Gallery are supporting the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal through a very special piece of artwork.  Otto is an award winning artist and designer with a keen interest in Tasmanian wildlife.  He has granted the Appeal rights to use his image for promotional and fundraising purposes. The Fund will be using an image of the art work for their end of year thank you / seasonal card that will go out to contributors and supporters and in the quarterly newsletter.

Hillier Skuse Gallery has also pledged a substantial portion of the sale price of the painting towards the Appeal. “Its price tag is just over $8000 and what we will be doing is donating the Gallery’s commission from that sale,” Susan Skuse told Blank GC.

Appeal Manager Rebecca Cuthill said just like the Tassie Devil, Otto’s artwork The Devil’s Playground is unique and special.

“The generous support from Otto and Hillier Skuse Gallery will make a tangible contribution to our key vision, to keep Tasmanian Devils alive where they belong, in the wild,” Rebecca said.

The painting is typical of Otto Schmidinger’s meticulous painting and design, with a quirky twist.  It is currently on show at Hillier Skuse Gallery, Bundall, as part of Otto’s solo exhibition, Designed by Nature, which runs until 30 December.

More information on The Devils Playground is available from Hillier and Skuse Gallery via contact@hillierskusegallery.com.

And more information about the work being done to ensure the future of Tasmanian Devils, including how to make a donation is at tassiedevil.com.au.

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