handmark accolades ― prize finalists announced

Accolades galore for Handmark’s talented artists. Melissa Smith joins Kaye Green as a finalist in a major Tasmanian art prize, while Helen Mueller and Martin Rek are vying for Australia’s richest landscape award.

Hot on the heels of her win in the Women’s Art Prize – where judges praised the ‘delicacy and interplay of line’ – printmaker Melissa Smith is in the running for the Bay of Fires Art Prize. This year’s theme is ‘Sanctuary’ and Melissa again turns to her sacred highlands retreat in Tracing the Silence Lake Sorell. “It is always wonderful to be acknowledged for your work,” she says.

Kaye Green is also thrilled to be a Bay of Fires finalist and her ‘sanctuary’ is an abandoned stone cottage on Hobart’s Eastern Shore “which had a tree growing inside. It doesn’t exist anymore, but I remember seeing a sketch of it once,” Kaye explains. The result is her stunningly simple black and white lithograph, Tree-House House-Tree, where both provide sanctuary to each other.

With a $100,000 purse, Hobart’s Hadley’s Art Prize attracts fierce competition, and printmaker Helen Mueller impressed judges with Walking on Bruny 4.  No conventional landscape, Helen “feels her way inside this environment” where she seeks “rhythm in shades and shadows,” a concept she explores further in her Handmark exhibition, Forest Stories in October. Martin Rek is also a Hadley’s finalist, and while he currently lives in Scotland his evocative sketches echo a longing for wild Tasmania.

Image credit: Helen Mueller, Walking on Bruny no. 1, 2024, layered woodcut prints, unique state, 84 x 38 cm