10 Local Tasmanian Artists You Should Know

Tasmania’s geographical isolation from the rest of Australia doesn’t get in the way of its cultural and community-based nature. Wintery festivals and a sublime culinary reputation aside, nowhere else is known for such abundance of stunning greenery, nor its embracing of the weird and wonderful side of art. Ready to discover a new Tasmanian artist? See our top ten below.

Elaine Green: Cloudscape Extraordinaire

Just before the storm strikes – Blue Serenity by Elaine Green.

Why go to the mountain, when the mountain can come to you? The cloud-crowned mountain scenes that come to Elaine Green‘s canvas offer a break from the mundanity of everyday life in places in Tasmania known for quietude. With her work currently featuring in our Adelaide gallery, we can confirm her dreamy oil paintings never fail to send us adrift!

We’d be happy to get lost in this landscape! The Falls 2 was inspired by this winter’s recent snowfall.

Explore more of Elaine’s heavenly landscapes here.

Sandra Jenkins: A Still Life Tasmanian Artist

Inspired by my mothers vase. The Eldest Daughter’s Vase refers to Sandra’s future heirloom.

It took moving to Queensland for a year for Tasmanian artist Sandra Jenkins to develop her artistry on her return to her home state. Inspired by the freedom to wander the bush, river, a huge old quarry and nearby arboretum, the Tassie environment finds centre stage in her nature artworks and still life pieces.

While some may see the Forget-me-not as a weed, Sandra Jenkins depicts a personal connection with the flower in this piece.

Browse her full collection here.

Rachel Howell: Tasmanian Bushwalker

When you’re surrounded by outstanding bushland and and dazzling bodies of water, it’s only natural that you find this a constant well of inspo for creativity and artistry. Tasmanian artist Rachel Howell is no different. From a young age, Rachel used to join her father, a passionate bushwalker and photographer, on many of his adventures trekking to some of Tasmania’s most remote and mystical places.

Cradle in Autumn by Rachel Howell.

Following a career as a school teacher, Rachel now spends as much time as possible painting in her studio at Rosevears. Rachel paints in a diverse range of mediums, including oil, pastel and watercolour. The numerous accolades under her belt include Hangers Choice Glover Art Prize 2016 and Bay of Fires Art Prize 2016.

Afternoon Haze by Rachel Howell.

Travel to Tasmania’s remotest places through Rachel’s profile.

Hugh Kerr: Social Commentary Served

Gate 10 is part of a series called ‘Corporate Bodies’ that looks at the quieter, emptier, lonelier more isolated moments in corporate working culture.

Intellectual, politically aware and surreal are just a few of the qualities we can expect from Hugh Kerr’s work. Hailing from the UK, Hugh travelled extensively with his family and in his former role as a geologist and environmental scientist across several continents, before calling Hobart home. Since taking up drawing and painting, he has been shortlisted for a number of art prizes in the last few years including 2019’s 45 Downstairs Emerging Art Prize in Flinders Lane Melbourne.

Inspired by many years of working for large companies in big cities and the associated travel and lifestyles, this series looks mainly at people and their relationship to these modern, constructed and highly systematised environments. Corporate Bodies tries to present the material accessories realistically, while showing the complex multifaceted nature of the individuals.

Hugh’s individualistic and unique style is influenced by the surreal and expressionist artists of the early 20th century. The themes he examines include science, nature and the environment, but more recently have focused on working life, politics, and society.

Nicholas Kerr: Giving Life to Still Life

British-born, Hobart-based artist Nicholas Kerr has been painting and drawing for 20 years. The main artistic themes in his work explore the mechanics of human society and our collective impact on the environment through subconscious imagery.

Nicholas Kerr has travelled extensively through Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, which he now cites as a predominant influence on the ideas at play in his work. As a primarily self-taught Tasmanian artist, Nicholas has over the years developed his skills through thematic and stylistic experimentation.

Dreams of movement reflects a longing for a life outside the home, as felt during the pandemic lockdown.

See more Nicholas’s still lifes here.

Chloe Papastavrou: The Abstract Tasmanian Artist

Washed Stones aims to evoke the fluidity and ever-changing nature of the Supply River falls in Northern Tasmania.

Emerging Tasmanian artist Chloe Papastavrou gives a distinctive take on the inspiring Tasmanian landscape. Her abstract work is motivated by and reflects both the vastness and intimacy of place. Chloe breaks down a landscape into its simplest forms for a viewer, which is guaranteed to bring peace and simplicity into the home.

 

Chloe captures the cycle of colour and movement of the stream at Ponrabble.

Elizabeth Barsham: Unearthing Local Mythologies

surreal landscape artwork by Elizabeth barsham

Rock Pools by Elizabeth Barsham

A lover of stories, Elizabeth Barsham has devoured everything from Greek mythology to Icelandic sagas. However, she’s always found herself hungry for tales closer to home, but with so few stories about Tasmania it was hard to find the “uniquely Tasmanian mythology” she craved. It took an art residency on King Island in the middle of the Bass Straight dividing Tasmania and Victoria for her own quest to be fulfilled.

surreal animal artwork by Elizabeth Barsham

Cow Pasture is an eerie take on King Island’s dairy traditions and shipwrecks.

King Island is famous for two things: dairy and strong winds. It’s also home to Australia’s tallest lighthouse, where many a wayward ship has met its doom. Elizabeth draws upon the stories of this seemingly inconsequential island in her own work, imbuing her art with strong narrative themes and unearthly beings.

Discover King Island’s mysteries on Elizabeth’s profile.

Gaye Sutherland: Painting Doorways to the World

lotus pond landscape painting by Gaye Sutherland

Capturing the natural wonders Myanmar is a haven for, Lotus 1 – evening instantly evokes a sense of calm and wonder.

“Art is amazing. It is very personal, allowing you to express yourself through colour or subject but also can be shared by many people giving them pleasure, questions or simply vision,” says Gaye Sutherland. Art is not simply creative expression for her, but also a portal to other places and points of view. Creating art has ignited Gaye’s passion to travel the world and seek out the variety of new experiences that are ours for the taking.

Kunanyi ( Mt Wellington ) by Gaye Sutherland

Gaye lets the foreground shine through in the gentle landscape, Kunanyi (Mt Wellington).

After stuffing herself with these experiences in places as diverse as Myanmar and Scotland, Gaye is now contentedly sitting back in her Tasmanian studio and letting her brush create doorways for others to step through to explore her memories in realistic detail.

Step through Gaye’s landscapes into remote regions of the world here.

Sofia Alba: Russian Roots, Rich Variety

Spring Competition 2020: “Spring is the time of blossom and the victory of the day over the night.”

Having an artistic practice that stems from the Classic Russian Academic Art School makes Sofia Alba one of the most varied Tasmanian artists of the bunch. Not limited to one particular style or technique, her work explores diverse forms of media and employs a medley of techniques. Surreal animal portraits, seascapes, dreamy bird scenes – Sofia depicts them all.

This Cassowary is one of the first birds in Sofia’s series of birds in Australia.

Find the full scope of Sofia Alba’s work here.

Daniela Selir: The Innate Artist

Banksia Overpass by Daniela Selir.

Living chapters of her life in different parts of Australia undoubtedly has been an influential factor to the scenes Daniela Selir paints, but her love of painting is pretty much hereditary. Inspired by her creative parents – her father’s preference for landscapes and her mother’s love of flowers – Daniela’s body of work is a perfect blend of the two, both being frequent subject matter.

Inspired by banksia outside and in! A Banksia Moment by Daniela Selir.

Ready to bring the spirit of Tasmania to you? Check out our complete list of Tasmanian artists here. You can also check out our picks of artists from Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Perth.

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