Evandale holds a special place among the Tasmanian art world – not far from the home of the influential John Glover, and host of the significant landscape painting awards named after him.
Until early February however, the range of art cycling through Handmark is much broader.
“There’s works on paper, paintings. There’s some furniture in this exhibition which is quite interesting. It’s just an eclectic mix of all the artists we represent,” said the gallery’s Evandale manager Alice Bradbury.
“We do it every year over summer. So as the artists provide works we move things around and pop them on the wall.”
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Showing Tasmanian art since 1980, Handmark opened the Evandale gallery in 2009 after gallery director Allanah Dopson spotted the site while in town for the Glover Prize.
“That’s a huge drawcard for art lovers – being in the area where Glover painted in the Midlands,” Ms Bradbury said.
For Clifford How, one of the 17 artists with work in Handmark’s Summer exhibition, that sentiment is certainly felt. “There’s a good vibe in the region,” he said.
Mr How – an avid bushwalker and fly fisher – works by painting “plain air”. He completes small colour studies on location, with drawings and photos for reference lines, before taking those back to his studio to work up.
“Impressionistic Realism is what someone’s called it once,” he recalled. “And I thought, ‘okay that’s not bad’, because I try to match colour as close as I can to the natural thing I’m seeing.”
“I use everything from brushes to plastering trowels to knives – all sorts of things. I find that variety of mark gives you real interest to the surface.”
For Melissa Smith, a print maker also showing in the exhibition, the physicality of the work is also satisfying.
“The work was inspired by a recent trip to the state’s South-West – to Melaleuca. It really represents I suppose the diversity of the landscape there: from the mountains and the sea, to the moorlands,” she said.
“I’ve always enjoyed the hands-on nature of print.”
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