The latest from handmark articles

evandale pop-up― summer sensation

Published 4 January 2021

Handmark’s latest pop-up exhibition is not only a celebration of art, but a celebration also of beautiful Tasmanian food, wine and history.

Evandale’s historic Clarendon Arms Hotel was buzzing last Saturday when the Christmas Pop-up opened in the historic pub. The much loved village watering hole had a full facelift during the COVID lockdown and emerged stunningly refurbished.

Working in collaboration with hotel owner Lydia Nettlefold – best known for her Red Feather Inn at Hadspen – Handmark has been able to secure the light-flooded upstairs level for regular pop-up exhibitions. The just opened Christmas Pop-up follows Handmark’s inaugural Spring Salon pop-up held in October and November.

The Christmas Pop-up features 39 works from Handmark artists, including four new giclees by Tom Samek titled Composing Myself. The next Evandale pop-up will exhibit Tasmanian landscapes to coincide with the village’s famous Glover Prize in March.

“Our pop-up exhibitions are special and offer something very different to those held at our Hobart gallery,” Handmark Director Allanah Dopson explains. “They are a unique opportunity to combine art with wonderful local food and drink and all while you immerse yourself in Tasmanian heritage.”

A day trip to the historic village of Evandale; a lunch of fresh local produce in the walled garden at the Clarendon Arms; topped off with a taste of some of the best Tasmanian art at the Christmas Pop-up. Could there possibly be a better way to celebrate the festive season?

Christmas Pop-up Evandale’s Clarendon Arms Hotel until January 31.

janine combes — lucky break

Published 4 January 2021

When jewellery designer Janine Combes emerged from the south-west wilderness with a broken arm, there was a bottle of bubbly and the most wonderful news waiting: She had won a prestigious art award.

It was near the end of the arduous 7-day South Coast Track that Janine tripped, fracturing her arm. Miles from civilization, she fashioned a splint and kept going. But when Janine finally emerged at South Cape Rivulet, she got the shock of her life.

“There was my partner Laurie waiting to surprise me with champagne and to tell me that I had won tidal.20 which was announced on December 4 while I was cut off from the world. I was absolutely floored. I never expected to win, so I went ahead with my long-planned trek and totally missed my big moment,” Janine tells us.

The prestigious tidal.20: City of Devonport National Art Award carries a $15,000 prize with the winner on permanent display at Devonport’s Paranaple Art Centre. It promotes contemporary Tasmanian art that reflects ‘concerns related to the sea and coastal regions.’

Janine responded with Kelp Elegy, a series of 9 large silver brooches inspired by Tasmania’s giant, but vanishing, kelp forests. As she explains: “Once I dived among towering curtains of giant kelp, each moving gently with the rush of incoming tide, secrets revealed and re-hidden among shadows full of intrigue and foreboding. These were forests of a kind I only barely knew before they were gone… I lament our loss, seek their restoration. The elegy is part written, but the ending is not.”

emily snadden ― highland fling

Published 20 November 2020

The delicate jewellery of Emily Snadden echoes her yearning for Tasmania’s Central Highlands and its wild landscape dotted with native flowers.

“My heart belongs to the Central Highlands. It’s where I spent my childhood roaming through the bush and fly-fishing with my parents and grandparents,” Emily recounts. “Exploring the highlands is part of my life and is my special place.”

In Emily’s latest collection, now on display at Handmark Gallery, high country wildflowers take centre stage dangling in delicate drop earrings, featuring in small brooches and hanging from pendants. It is a tribute to her beloved highlands and was born out of the COVID lockdown.

Trapped in the city during lockdown and unable to visit the rugged centre, Emily turned to art to fill the gap. She recounts one instance where, while walking through the streets with her daughter Maggie, the toddler picked up a twig with gumnuts which she took home as a little treasure. This twig became the inspiration for exquisite teaspoons which are destined to be handed down from generation to generation.

“I am interested in the way jewellery becomes a family heirloom and can really tell a story” Emily explains. “When I wander through the bush I collect little treasures, like flowers and stones, which become the inspiration for my jewellery, I love the idea that one day my pieces can be treasured by someone else as well.”

bruce thurrowgood ― tasmanian outing

Published 20 November 2020

Enigmatic artist Bruce Thurrowgood is about to introduce his stunning photorealism style paintings to local art enthusiasts with his first Tasmanian solo exhibition – Looking in: 50 years of Painting. This is a highly anticipated event, and a coup for Handmark Gallery as it unveils the works of this acclaimed Australian artist who now calls Bicheno home.

As well as new paintings, the exhibition on November 27 will feature a retrospective of Bruce’s art through the decades. It begins in the 1970’s with his exploration of geometric minimalistic themes, before moving to the 80’s and his discovery of photorealism. By the early 2000’s Bruce is experimenting with cropping, expressed in extra close-up imagery, much of it inspired by the water around his Bicheno home.

“I love the light here, and the unique turquoise colours of the ocean in the North East,” Bruce explains. “I am especially fascinated by the lines of light that project themselves over the sand and through the surface of the water.”

This is beautifully illustrated in Looking in: 1,000 Rainbows which is one of Bruce’s new works. Here we marvel at the interplay of light and water as Bruce “looks into” the water and finds that “thousands of tiny rainbows edge the pattern of light.”

Walking down to the beach at the end of his street, Bruce now has an endless supply of imagery to share with local art lovers: “Water is my predominant theme. I am interested in looking at the substance and patterns and not being caught up in the context,” Bruce tells us. “It is so wonderful being able to show my works to a new Tasmanian audience”

Handmark’s Looking in: 50 years of Painting exhibition opens on Friday November 27.

bush bolthole ― art consultancey

Published 15 October 2020

Art is immersing guests in nature at Tasmania’s latest luxury offering.

Tucked away in a secluded bush block that reaches down to the ocean, The Bolthole Pirates Bay is taking accommodation on the Tasman Peninsula to a new level of luxury. Designed by award-winning architect, Craig Rosevear, this subliminally stunning house can accommodate up to 12 guests.

However, nature is the real star of this show: “Floor to ceiling windows blur the line between inside and outside,” The Bolthole owner, Anna Bayley explains. “We welcomed our first official guests last weekend, and they just loved it.”

But art also has a starring role.

Dotted throughout The Bolthole are the works of local artists, which according to Anna “reflect a connection to nature encompassing the ocean and the bush.” All have been carefully handpicked by the Handmark team as part of its Art Consultancy service. They include two striking prints from Mandy Renard depicting plants, birds and the ocean. The art of Melissa Smith, Nic Goodwolf and Jonathan Partridge also enhances The Bolthole.

“Handmark Gallery really understood what we were after and what we were hoping to achieve,” Anna adds. “There were so many amazing pieces of art to choose from, but they were able to guide us as to what would look good and where – and the results are brilliant.”

Evandale exhibition — Spring salon

Published 15 October 2020

Handmark is keeping art alive at Evandale with a pop-up exhibition celebrating the rebirth of Spring.

Spring Salon, which opens Friday 23 October and runs until Sunday 15 November, embraces the optimism that this season brings. A stunning exhibition of 30 new works from some of Tasmania’s most acclaimed artists, it also shines a light on our incredible northern talent.

“With the recent closing of our gallery in Evandale, we don’t want to lose touch with our many wonderful clients and friends in the north of the state,” Handmark Director, Allanah Dopson explains.

Evandale’s historic Clarendon Arms Hotel provides a beautiful backdrop for Spring Salon. Lydia Nettlefold, who also owns the Red Feather Inn, has just given the pub a full makeover: “The upstairs area, which was not being used, has now been transformed into a sparkling array of rooms with very high ceilings – just perfect to view artwork,” Allanah adds.

The Clarendon Arms is currently open Thursday to Sunday, with dinner on Saturday by reservation. Just phone the Clarendon Arms on 6391 8181 to book. Due to COVID restrictions, bookings are also essential for Spring Salon, so please register your interest by return email.

diane allison — daring disarray

Published 15 October 2020

Information overload in modern life inspired the Incomplete Disarray of Handmark’s latest exhibition.

The relentless avalanche of social media. The endless bombardment of information. These are part and parcel of daily life. But, according to artist Di Allison they also “trigger feelings of disarray” and she reacts to the experience of being “overwhelmed by relentless information” with her aptly named – Incomplete Disarray exhibition.

The exhibition, which opened last Friday, is an interesting pivot for Di who has garnered widespread acclaim for her stunning handmade jewellery. In fact, Incomplete Disarray is her first solo outing “sans jewellery.” Instead she uses collage, mono-prints and photography to “disrupt our thoughts” and “provoke disarray.”

Three collages, Fake Muse #1, #2 and #3, challenge social media ideals of beauty. Glossy fashion magazine covers are sliced into pieces and reassembled in a new scrambled version of reality. In the collage Dress Ups those “icons of perfection” – Ken and Barbie – are also reborn in altered form.

Di also creates powerful word-grids using photographs she has taken over the years to share her view of a world in disarray. Notice Every Sign and Lone Cold Angel deliver urban prose. While Closed is Di’s reflection of a world shut down by COVID-19.

“I think Incomplete Disarray touches on a broad range of social issues,” Di muses. “But, above all it is my personal commentary on the day-to-day concerns we face as our lives are bombarded by endless information overload.”

jock young ― pared-back prints

Published 22 September 2020

Acclaimed painter Jock Young reveals a pared-back look with his striking linocut prints.

Gouache and oils of a still life, or boats bobbing on the water, may be synonymous with Jock’s work, but along the way he has always experimented with linocut as part of the artistic process.

“My art is all about distilling the elements of a landscape, and linocuts are the perfect way to achieve that,” he says. “They offer a reduced version of reality and have a certain roughness about them which appeals to me because I like working in broad shapes.”

His offerings in Handmark’s Works on Paper exhibition are testament to this. Jock uses the rough-hewn strokes of linocut to bring the sitting room of a Cradle Mountain hut to life.

Jock began experimenting with linocut back in the early 80’s after being inspired by the prints of acclaimed Tasmanian artist Kit Hiller. Since then he often produces both linocuts and paintings of the same subject.

“I have turned linocuts into paintings. But mostly I use paintings as a subject for linocuts,” Jock tells us. “It takes a long time for me to produce a composition that I am happy with, and so once I have done a painting it is really interesting to explore it a little bit further in the medium of linocut.”

acclaim for handmark artists ―

Published 22 September 2020

Print-maker Melissa Smith and Painter Helene Weeding have been nominated as finalists in separate prestigious art prizes.

Helene Weeding’s raw reflection of COVID quarantine impressed the judges in the Caleen Art Award, which will be announced in early October in NSW’s Cowra Regional Gallery.

Her Isolation Diary was created during a traumatic family time. In April Helene’s young grandson was rushed to Melbourne for a medical emergency. After racing over to see him, Helene used art as a means of softening the blow of quarantine on her arrival back in Tasmania.

Fourteen daily diary entries capture Helene’s loneliness: On day one she finds the experience of being locked in a Launceston hotel room ‘daunting’. A solitary watercolour apple sits on a jar: “As well as being a social commentary about the impact of COVID, this is also a very personal work that reveals the de-humanising effect of isolation during what was a very fraught time,” Helene reveals.

Print-maker Melissa Smith turned to the silence of the bush to impress the judges of the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, which will be announced in mid-October at the Caloundra Regional Art Gallery.

Her sublime work, Reaching into the Stillness, was selected as one of 40 finalists. In it we see a scattering of wildflowers which “punctuates the background of trees and sandstone shelves” of a bush landscape “layered in its own history and stories.”

With the Sunshine Coast Art Prize open to all mediums and subject matter, Melissa says she is “honoured and humbled to be chosen as a finalist.”

katina gavalas ― comforting art

Published 22 September 2020

As we struggle in an uncertain world, the beautifully delicate prints of Katina Gavalas wrap us in nostalgia and comfort.

New art by Katina takes pride of place at Handmark’s annual Works On Paper exhibition. She hopes they transport the viewer back to the time when the world was a more peaceful and certain place.

Intricate swathes of lace, and beautiful sheer fabrics draped over the hint of a female form are Katina’s trademark. Reaching back into her past, Katina’s prints may reference a beloved piece of embroidery sewn by her grandmother, or a treasured swatch of fabric that caught her eye years ago.

“Much of my work is about family heirlooms, like trinkets passed down through the generations,” Katina reveals. “They are a tribute to the workmanship of these beautiful pieces which evoke past memories.”

Works on Paper will feature three of Katina’s just completed prints. All of them reflecting her transition from fashion designer to artist: In Red Roses the female body is celebrated and swathed in a sheer fabric; A lace slip in Sunday Grace echoes a bygone era; while a delicate petticoat springs to life in Romantic Essentials.

“It’s always about fabric and dressing the body,” Katina explains. “And I hope when someone sees my work it brings joy by taking them back to a time when they felt warm and comforted.”