" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

August 13, 2016

Tasmanian Souvenirs and Touchstones

One of my favourite Tasmanian souvenirs from my trip to Tasmania is the Tassie Devil that I picked up from the souvenir shop in Wrest Point Casino while I was staying there.
The Tasmanian Devil is a uniquely Tasmanian creature, which to Australian mainlanders like myself is as fascinating as a visitor to Australia might find an animal like the kangaroo.
Two devils, one without any white markings. Around 16% of wild devils have no markings
Mind you I don't have the same urge to pat a Tassie Devil as I do a kangaroo for some reason. :-)  
I like my Tassie Teddy for a number of reasons, not just because it represents a strange creature that still roams the island state, unlike the Tasmanian Tiger.
The supposedly extinct Tasmanian Tiger
I like it because unlike most souvenirs you pick up anywhere in the world this one was actually made locally and not in China.
These woolly dolls are made by Envirowoolly, which is aimed at the niche local tourist market. 
The Envirowoolly far
"A number of Tasmanian tourist ventures are selling our “Envirowoolly’s”, including The Tasmanian Devil Park, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctury, Made in Tasmania, Salamanca and the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery. Saffire Freycinet has "adopted" our Tasmanian Devil as part of its promotion of the  

Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. 
Devil facial tumour disease

  From my free Sunday Tasmanian paper from the casino June 19th, 2016
An article that was in my free Sunday Tasmanian paper from the casino June 19th, 2016 

A road sign telling drivers that there may be devils nearby
Our Critters, Bears and Envirowoollys are all made from knitted woollen offcuts. Their filling is made from our own recycled waste wool product which makes them both sustainable and environmentally friendly."

Tastex supported employees
"Tastex Knitwear Inc. has been producing knitwear in Tasmania, Australia, with a reputation for unsurpassed quality and workmanship since 1946.

Tastex is an "Australian Disability Enterprise" employing 22 people. Fifteen of our employees have intellectual disabilities. We are also a Special Work of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Tasmania 
As a fully operational knitting mill Tastex is the only knitting mill in Australia that provides training and support for people with intellectual disabilities."
A devil eating roadkill
I like the fact that these dolls are made out of
recycled waste wool, as well, because when you drive through the heart of Tasmania you realize just how many sheep are over here and how important the sheep industry is to a small Australian state like Tasmania...not to mention the tourism dollar.
I saw about three dead Tassie Devils on my road-trip through Tasmania laying dead after being run over by traffic.
My Wrest Point Casino tea towel and hat that I bought at the casino in Tassie

My cards from the Boag's brewery in Launceston, Tasmania
I did buy other
souvenirs that probably were made in China if I looked at the labels, but my little Envirowoolly doll feels special to me on so many levels.
There is something that makes me feel better buying a locally made souvenir and really helping out the local economy and for some reason a locally bought souvenir seems to feel a little more magical when I'm holding it, or looking at it
One of my other great Tassie souvenirs
I remember reading David Walsh, the owner of MONA saying how he was a big supporter of local business especially in Glenorchy, where the Envirowoollys are made.  
I thought it would be cool if MONA sold some kind of specially designed doll just for MONA with a MONA theme to support the Envirowoolly cause.
Maybe a MONA black cat with hot pink crosses (the MONA logo) for eyes. 
Sex X, Death + and Hot Pink 806
Maybe even with a Dark Mofo catch phrase across it's stomach, which could be sold around the winter solstice?-)
Maybe even an soup can wouldn't go astray in an art gallery shop, either?
Especially on those Dark Mofo cold winter days.
Moorilla Gorilla?
Moorilla is MONA's wine label and winery on the MONA site, if you were wondering about the Gorilla with the attitude pictured above.

My rough t-shirt design suggestion for MONA
And some decent t-shirts for sale in the MONA shop wouldn't go astray, either. 
I couldn't find any decent t-shirts to buy while looking through the MONA shop while I was down there.
And here is one for the Wrest Point Casino for a tea towel design, have a few dirty hand-prints with the words,  
"I've been to Wrest Point Casino and I'm all washed up again" .
Or maybe a t-shirt that says,  
"I went to Wrest Point Casino and was lucky to walk away with this t-shirt still on my back":-)
I'd also like to see Envirowoolly adding an Austr-alien doll to their range for all of us mainland Aussies to take back to the mainland as a souvenir from a state that us mainlanders still feel a little alienated from because of that ocean between us.
What I really would loved to have taken home was one of these "Dark Doodles" by Hobart cartoonist Jon Kudelka, but I read this fish-wrapper above when it was all too late.
I would have loved to have taken home either doodle that he is holding up in the newspaper article above.
I must send away for Hobart by Kudelka as that cookie monster looking mountain on the cover above was the first place in my 51 year (and counting) life of seeing real snow. 
Next time I go back down to Down-under's Down-under (that's Tasmania if you didn't get the joke) I'll be bringing back an Envirowoolly black sheep for each of my family members :-)

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