Cartoons lift lid on year of political upheaval

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FROM Julia Gillard's announcement of a little surprise in eight months, to Tony Abbott ruling on his bicycle - the best of Australia's 2013 political cartoons are on show in Launceston.

The touring Behind the Lines exhibition features about 80 cartoons by leading cartoonists from across the country, including Jon Kudelka and John "Polly" Farmer, both of Hobart.

The cartoons are mapped out around the Royal Park gallery in chronological order, telling the tale of broken parliamentary alliances, leadership spills, prime ministerial change, corruption scandals and more.

Many works by David Rowe, who was the Political Cartoonist of the Year in 2013, are also featured.

QVMAG director Richard Mulvaney said the great thing about the exhibition was it made you remember that "we had a bit of everything" in politics last year and that cartoonists are amazing artists.

"All too often the political correctness has an influence on all of us about how we publicly say or do anything and we tend to regard the politicians as a no-go zone, where as cartoonists just go for it," Mr Mulvaney said.

"We tend to take life a little too seriously sometimes but this is about fun.

"It's witty and irreverent."

The exhibition is touring from the Museum of Australian Democracy and will continue at Royal Park until March 2.

Entry is free.

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