The latest from handmark articles

adrian barber ― mountain magic

Published 14 April 2021

The primal landscape of kunanyi/Mt Wellington looms large over the life of painter Adrian Barber and is the inspiration behind his upcoming exhibition.

Since his childhood lived across the globe, mountains have held a “magnetic attraction” for Adrian. In Uganda and Papua New Guinea it was the jungle-covered highlands, while the desert ranges of northern Iraq enthralled him during years spent in the Middle East: “Mountains have always symbolised possibility to me. The excitement of what is over the other side,” Adrian tells us.

Not surprisingly, when he moved to Tasmania 16 years ago, Adrian settled on a bush block at Neika nestled in the foothills of kunyani: “Every day I walk out the back door and into that incredible primal wilderness, and that feeds my art,” Adrian explains. “I feel at one with the surroundings, and especially respond to all the sculptural elements, such as the folds in the rocks.”

Adrian’s exhibition, Between the Known and the Unknown, is a homage to his mountain love and the result of two very different processes. Six large paintings – ‘The Known’ – are deliberately constructed from images collected during bushwalks.

However, much of the exhibition – ‘The Unknown’ – consists of dreamlike monochrome works that emerged during what Adrian describes as a meditative, zen-like state: “The intentions come from the storehouse of memory and from years of immersion in the Tasmanian landscape. In creating these works, the conscious mind does not force the hand and the paint must find its own path.”

Adrian Barber’s Between the Known and the Unknown exhibition runs from April 9 – 26.

mandy renard ― ‘wild’ women

Published 14 April 2021

Aptly called Rewilding, Mandy Renard’s current exhibition is her ode to magnificent ‘wild’ women and a glimpse of what could be.

Mandy is passionate about ‘rewilding’ and hopes her stunning prints will ignite the same passion in others.

Rewilding is a rapidly growing movement that seeks environmental restoration through the return of land to wildlife and letting nature take care of itself. But it is also a state of mind that implores us to embrace a more natural way of life as the path to physical, mental, and spiritual completeness – and a better world.

“We need to re-wild our lives. I want people to see they are part of the world, and the world is part of us,” Mandy explains. “A rewilded mind, and a rewilded world, will create a more holistic, harmonious future and lead to the greater good.”

The Rewilding exhibition is a celebration of possibility. Of what the world can be. We view magnificent wild women wrapped in snakes, leaves and waves. Adorned with flowers, butterflies, and birds. In one powerful work a woman is made of fish to impart Mandy’s message that we are an integral part of the ecology of this planet: We eat a fish, and the fish becomes part of us.

Mandy’s art invites us to imagine our own rewilding: “A rewilded woman is a magnificence to behold. Awe inspiring, powerful, beautiful. But perhaps there is only one thing more magnificent than a rewilded woman, and that is a rewilded world.”

Mandy Renard’s Rewilding exhibition runs until April 6.

linda van niekerk ― women walking tall

Published 23 February 2021

A collaboration between one of Tasmania’s most exciting jewellers, and some of the island’s best-known women, has resulted in an incredible exhibition – Walking Tall – which opens this Friday.

Linda liaised with 21 brilliant Tasmanians from all sectors of the creative arts, designing a piece of bespoke jewellery for each. These recipients include actress Marta Dusseldorf, author Heather Rose, media identity Judy Tierney and philanthropist Julia Farrell. As Linda explains: “This is still very much my exhibition, but it honours those women who ‘walk tall’ in their own right. I wanted to create something that spoke to them individually and reflected their character.”

Bold designs that draw heavily on the natural world are Linda’s trademark, with one of the exhibition pieces being a “bold necklace to fit the woman’s bold personality.” But, Walking Tall also takes Linda’s jewellery into uncharted territory. There are delicate dew-drop earrings for the lady “who walks tall with a powerful quiet presence”, a silver seagrass ring for another who is passionate about diving and jewellery that incorporates driftwood.

Linda also teams up with six well-known Tasmanian female artists for Walking Tall, crafting bespoke pieces for each to be exhibited alongside one of their new artworks.

All the jewellery and art in the exhibition is for sale.

Handmark’s Walking Tall exhibition opens at 5.00pm on Friday February 19 and runs until March 9.

evandale ‘pop-up’ ― an artistic adventure

Published 23 February 2021

As autumn bears down, Evandale and the legacy of John Glover takes centre stage, and Handmark will be there with a wonderful offering of landscape art.

Until his death in 1849, artist John Glover famously captured the vistas around his home near Evandale. Now, every March the landscape prize in his honour draws art enthusiasts in their droves to the historic northern midlands village.

Handmark will once again have a special pop-up exhibition in Evandale to coincide with the Glover Prize. Opening on Friday February 26 at 5.30 pm at the historic Clarendon Arms, it will feature landscapes by some of Tasmania’s most pre-eminent artists.  Why not make an evening of it, enjoy live jazz and stay for dinner.

Meanwhile, congratulations to three of Handmark’s fabulous artists – painters Faridah Cameron, Peter Gouldthorpe and Luisa Romeo – who have all been selected as finalists in the Glover Prize which will be announced the following Friday on March 5 at The Falls Pavilion.

If you missed the Handmark opening at the Clarendon Arms on the 26th, come to Evandale on the long-weekend of March 6, 7 and 8 and enjoy both exhibitions.

Handmark’s Landscape pop-up opens at 5.30pm on February 26 at the Clarendon Arms in Evandale. It runs until April 11.

travis bell ― balance and buddhism

Published 23 February 2021

Travis is best known for his Stupas. Pared-back spherical objects that rest precariously on top of each other are the 30-year-old artists’ interpretation of those large buddhist monuments which house precious religious relics.

“Buddhism aims to find the truth, and clay is truthful. It is a very honest medium,” Travis explains. “There is beauty in the raw earth. It doesn’t need to be glossed up. Simplicity is beautiful. Unadorned is beautiful.”

In fact, the clay itself becomes the focus in the ceramics that Travis creates. He doesn’t use it as a canvas for glaze, rather with rich earthy tones that range from reds to browns and greys, clay becomes the canvas. Travis also points out this medium gives an artist endless possibilities, describing ceramics as “formless and open-ended and not defined by a piece of paper or block of stone.”

Ironically, Travis’ art is a direct contrast to every other facet of his life. He calls himself “a chaotic person” who lives a free-flowing and unstructured life governed by whims, but whose art is “very sharp, controlled and disciplined.” Perhaps this streamlined balance in his work, helps Travis achieve that balance in life so revered in Buddhism.

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.”