Handmark Evandale gallery manager makes a mark on Tasmanian art scene

FAMILIAR FACES: Alice Bradbury manages Handmark Evandale, which hosts up to 14 exhibitions each year. Picture: Phillip Biggs
FAMILIAR FACES: Alice Bradbury manages Handmark Evandale, which hosts up to 14 exhibitions each year. Picture: Phillip Biggs

A huge demand exists for Tasmanian artists, Handmark Evandale gallery manager Alice Bradbury says.

After close to nine years with the Evandale gallery and several years with Stillwater Gallery, Bradbury is experienced at recognising quality artists from around the state.

There was a strong future for Tasmanian galleries supporting local artists, Bradbury said.

“I think there’s incredible growth and movement, and the client base is growing. There are always new artists emerging.”

She recalled an exhibition by contemporary artist Michael McWilliams.

The catalogue of his work was sent out a couple of days before the launch and people lined up hours before the exhibition started to buy his work, Bradbury said.

“It sold out in nine minutes.”

More than 84 artists are represented by the gallery, which includes jewellers.

“I just love the artists. They’re inspiring, they talk about ideas and it’s just a fascinating job,” Bradbury said.

The latest exhibition at Handmark Evandale displays work by Hobart artist Katy Woodroffe.

“Katy taught me at Launceston Grammar 20 years ago so she’s always been on our radar. This is her 25th solo show and it’s her first with us at Handmark,” Bradbury said.

One of the key criteria for the gallery is any new artists needs be from Tasmania.

“Between myself, [Handmark Gallery director] Allanah Dopson and Sarah Sansom in Hobart, we look at the work and see if we have a market for it,” Bradbury said.

“We know whether they’re a fit for us.”

The quality of lifestyle was a drawcard for many interstate artists to move to Tasmania, she said.

“We only represent Tasmanian artists … we just find that pull per capita of Tasmanian artists is just at such a high level that we don’t need to broaden to the mainland.

The ‘Mona effect’ had changed the art landscape in Hobart, which created an on-flowing effect to the commercial galleries, she said. 

“People are more open to viewing artworks,” Bradbury said.

“It has broadened the art scene across Tasmania.”

Her passion for art was fostered while she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Art History) several years ago at the University of Tasmania.

“I was always creative.”

Bradbury and her husband started Stillwater Providore and gallery in 2000, selling it five years later.

About nine years ago, she received a call from Dopson asking whether she would consider running Handmark Evandale.

Visiting artists studios was one of her favourite parts of working at Handmark Evandale.

“We just hope to represent our artists to the best of our ability.”