Launceston exhibition explores abandoned industry relics in Tasmania

What happens to industrial areas after people leave?

That’s what renowned Austrian visual artist Ilona Schneider explores in her latest photographic exhibition at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery in Launceston.

Schneider, who is based in Hobart, discovered relics of villages, abandoned dams and other “remnants of times past” in Tasmania’s wilderness.

Her project was triggered by childhood memories of familiar landscapes while travelling around Europe on a train and how they changed decades later.

“Nature claims back what we [abandon],” Schneider said.

The exhibition told Tasmanian stories and how they developed over decades, she said.

Nature claims back what we [abandon].

Photographer Ilona Schneider

She has worked on the project for the past five years.

QVMAG visual arts and design curator Ashleigh Whatling said the exhibition encouraged people to consider humanity’s footprint and how humans were a part of the natural world.

“It shows thriving communities that have moved on to the next town … and the remnants left behind,” Whatling said.

Schneider took an impartial look at what was left, she said.

The exhibition opens on Saturday and will run until October at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park.