The latest from handmark articles

emma bugg― a concrete approach

Published 1 July 2020

Jeweller Emma Bugg loves nothing more than pushing the boundaries – even if that means using concrete.

For the last decade Emma has been exploring how to incorporate concrete into her coveted jewellery. These latest works will be on display at Handmark’s Still Life exhibition, featuring a bold collection of necklaces, earrings and rings where concrete replaces precious stones and decoration.

“I used to ride my bike a lot and would often be looking down at all the different textures and surfaces of the city. And I got to thinking it would be interesting to experiment,” Emma tells us. “To reconceptualise a common material that we see every day and walk across, and to frame it on the body, brings a new dimension to it. A new way to see it.”

It has taken years of trial and error for Emma to get to the point where concrete behaves the way she needs it to do. Working with industry experts she has discovered how to strengthen the material. Silver provides ‘the skeleton’ and framing.

Emma’s jewellery isn’t glitzy. It has an earthy connection. And, it is not just decorative either. These striking pieces also pay homage to the quiet strength of women.

As Emma explains: “There is something about us taking a material that is quite masculine, and then associating it back to the female form. I like it to be about strength – underlying strength.”

zsolt faludi― the art of tea

Published 1 July 2020

Ancient tradition and Zen simplicity imbue the latest works of Zsolt Faludi which are inspired by the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

This intricate ritual, which dates back to the 9th century, embraces Zen Buddism and its pursuit of harmony, purity and tranquillity. Qualities perfectly expressed in the beautifully sublime teapots and teacups that Zsolt has chosen for Handmark’s Still Life exhibition.

All Zsolt’s pieces have been specifically created for the Japanese tea ceremony and are based on Zen philosophy. Simplicity is evoked with fluidity. Purity of colour, and clay in its natural state, creates a feeling of harmony with nature.

“The tea ceremonies are a form of meditation,” Zsolt explains. “They usually last between three or four hours and are a zone of spiritual engagement with the world.”

Zsolt’s recent interest in the Japanese tea ceremony was sparked after meeting with a ‘Tea Master’ in Hobart. However, it also stems from a long interest in Zen Buddism, plus his study of philosophy in which he gained a PHD.

“There is philosophy behind everything we do, even if we are not conscious about it,” Zsolt muses. “You look at pieces of art and it mobilizes your emotional life, your feelings, your ideas. And, when you step out of the gallery you take these feelings with you, and that helps enrich your life.”

denise campbell ― vessels of life

Published 1 July 2020

Vessels of all shapes, sizes and meanings are a recurring theme in the paintings of artist Denise Campbell.

Seen from Above is Denise’s contribution to the upcoming Still Life exhibition at Handmark Gallery. In this beautiful pared-back work we peek inside two bowls and a metal jug. Their shapes echoed in a curved arch above.

Denise loves the simplicity and form of vessels: “No matter whatever mess is going on around you, these simple bold shapes capture your attention as something so beautiful in space.”

However, she also loves the fact that vessels are a metaphor for life: “Vessels represent safety and security, nourishment and nurturing. A small bowl holds sustenance, while a vessel at sea offers protection for those on board.”

As Handmark prepares for its Still Life exhibition, it could be argued that this art form has taken on a new significance during the COVID-19 crisis. Locked indoors, artists have had to turn inwards, finding inspiration amongst inanimate objects within their homes.

“When you are confined to your inner space, you notice things a little more and become more conscious of your surroundings because you are not rushing about,” Denise adds. “So, you have got time to sit and contemplate those everyday things around you in a brand-new light.”

bare walls?

Published 16 May 2020

Bare walls?  With so many of us now working from home, let us bring Art to you!

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we’re looking forward to seeing you —

Published 16 May 2020

With the announcement that restrictions will ease from Monday 18 May, we are looking forward to welcoming you through the doors of Handmark once again and sharing our artist’s work with you in person!  Social distancing will still apply, and only ten people will be allowed in the gallery at any given time.

mother’s day — wondrous women

Published 16 May 2020

A new group of Sally Curry’s iconic women will arrive at Handmark – just in time for Mother’s Day, May 10.

And, with mum’s special day just around the corner, could there be a more perfect gift? These small playful ceramic women have attained something of a cult status, with Sally “making hundreds” over the past 20 years.

“They are definitely not ladies,” Sally laughs. “They are all individual women, each with their own distinct personality. One of the new creations that I will be bringing to Handmark is a lovely but rather gouged woman who has been battered by Corona Virus.”

She will be joined by a serene woman with a moon-like face and shell hat, that Sally has named ‘Full Moon, High Tide’. A beautiful angel will also make an appearance.

There is nothing more memorable than a gift of art to spoil mothers on their special day. And one of Sally’s unique women is a gift to treasure for life.

nick glade-wright — vital voice

Published 16 May 2020

The large stylised paintings tell a potent story about the havoc we have wrought on earth. The ‘vital signs’ of climate change – fire, drought and floods – fill the works. There are also tragic tales of refugees.

But, Vital Signs also marks a major milestone. The exhibition coincides with Nick’s 70th birthday and is the stunning culmination of his decades as a prolific artist.

“This is a very special exhibition where I have painted about things that really move me,” Nick points out. “Each painting takes on a different story, just like the different chapters of a book.”

The devastating summer bushfires that swept across Tasmania two summers ago was the trigger for Vital Signs. In Nick’s beautiful studio nestled in bush south of Hobart, the threat of fire is never far away.

One canvas shows a blaze engulfing everything in its path leaving only eerie silhouettes of gums, and a powerful message. This is heightened by Nick’s dramatic use of colour. Slashes of orange sound a warning, but at the end there is hope.

“A small blue waterhole protected from the firestorm becomes a sanctuary” Nick explains. “My paintings still have optimism, and the last works I completed for Vital Signs explore reconstruction after these horrific events.”

melissa smith — sounds of silence

Published 16 May 2020

Silence is golden in the beautiful prints of Melissa Smith’s latest offering, where depiction of nature goes Beyond Thought.

In her upcoming exhibition, Melissa explores the silence of the bush and how it allows us to go ‘beyond’ the boundaries of our busy everyday lives.

“I have always been drawn to places that are quiet. Places that offer you a chance for self-reflection and awareness, where you have the chance to clear your mind and go beyond thought in that silence.”

In this exhibition Melissa takes us to two different bodies of water that are enveloped in stillness and tranquility.

Most of the delicate prints in Beyond Thought were completed during a recent project to capture the bio-diversity around the Manly-Dam Reserve in Sydney. But, there are also scenes from Lake Sorell in Tasmania’s isolated Central Highlands.

Stillness may reign, but Melissa’s prints are a complex layering of trees, rocks, wildflowers and water in a wash of blue. A handful are fleshy-pink reflecting the colour on gum trees at Lake Sorell where the bark has been torn away.

Ironically, the beautiful silence of Melissa’s exhibition comes at a time when the covid-19 pandemic has shut down our busy lives.

“We are living in a very quiet world at the moment. It is giving us a chance to slow down and take a deep breath,” Melissa concludes.

handmark consultancy — architectural art

Published 3 April 2020

The paintings of Tasmanian artist Robyn McKinnon adorn the walls of one of Melbourne’s most prestigious new apartment buildings as Handmark continues to prove it’s ‘more than a gallery’.

With joinery from Milan, and inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright, The Springfield in Toorak embodies the finest craftsmanship. Now, art is also taking centre stage.

Handmark was enlisted to bring Springfield’s ‘foyer to life with art’ and the results are stunning: “Most of our residents are serious collectors of art and we needed something really special to become the focal point as you entered the building,” Tisha Lee, from K2LD Architects, explained.

Embracing Springfield’s garden theme, Tisha was searching for an ‘Australian version of Monet’, and Handmark Director Allanah Dopson had the answer. She commissioned Robyn McKinnon to paint a series of three floral works for the entry.

According to Tisha the whole process was surprisingly quick and easy, taking just two months from start to finish: “The penthouse buyer loved Robyn’s paintings. He has an incredible art collection and his wife is an artist herself, so you don’t get a bigger compliment than that.”

“Next time I have another project I will pick up the phone and call Allanah and say I need something that works with my building – can you help me?”

anna weber — kitchen creations

Published 3 April 2020

Innovation and bold creativity inspired jeweller Anna Weber to create stunning pieces that feature one very surprising common kitchen staple.

With a background in interior design, Anna turned to laminate to create striking works of art that stand out from the crowd: “I know of a couple of jewellers in the UK who have incorporated laminate into their designs, but I have never heard of anyone in Australia doing it,” Anna explains.

Always keen to experiment, Anna is using offcuts of laminates, just like that found on kitchen benches everywhere, to create splashes of colour and contrast. And, her latest collection featuring earrings and a brooch, is a testament to this creativity.

“The work I am doing at the moment is with recycled oxidized sterling silver and layers of brightly coloured laminate,” Anna explains.

“I always love to explore how recycled materials can be incorporated into my works. It’s important that we don’t just see jewellery in that very narrow focus of gold, diamonds and that sort of thing.”