Susie Hamilton


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Year 2020
Medium Charcoal and pastel on paper
Dimensions 21.5 x 30 cm

About the work

During lockdown, I was contacted by consultant hepatologist and art collector, Peter Collins, who thought that images of doctors and patients in COVID wards would be interesting subjects for my work. He sent photographs from his hospital and I sourced more from TV. I found the isolation of medics in PPE and the defencelessness of patients in neon-lit settings inspirational. The images also appealed because of my preference for painting figures who are partly hidden; made into silhouettes, obscured by darkness or light or concealed by specialised coverings. Similar to my Polar Explorers and Astronauts, my doctors/nurses are metamorphosed through hoods, masks, visors and goggles. Some resemble hybrid creatures from the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, some are like 16/17th century plague doctors with their beaks and gowns, while others have an angelic quality with light shining from or bursting upon them.

About the artist:

Born London 1950, Susie Hamilton lives and works in London. Graduated from Dip AD/Graham Hamilton Drawing Prize, Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1993); BA/Ph.D. Birkbeck College, London University (1989); ans Dip AD Fine Art, St Martin’s School of Art, London (1973).

Hamilton makes paintings, drawings and prints. Her work generally depicts morphing figures, turned towards the ambivalent, the hybrid and the abstract. She often draws and paints from life—in dining rooms, supermarkets or on beaches—but she is also influenced by literature, especially literature about metamorphosis. She has made series of works inspired by Marvell, Eliot, Donne, Ovid and Shakespeare. Recently she has been working with mental health charity Hospital Rooms and made a large wall painting for a psychiatric intensive care unit in Exeter.

Selected solo exhibitions include ‘C19’, Paul Stolper Gallery, London (2020); in atoms, Paul Stolper, London (2016); Here Comes Everybody, St Paul’s Cathedral, London (2015); World of Light, Triumph Gallery, Moscow (2008); Paintings and Drawings, Galleri Trafo, Oslo (2007); and Paradise Alone, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull (2003). Selected group exhibitions include Beyond Other Horizons, Palace of Culture, Lasi (2020); Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize, London (2019); Hospital Rooms, drawings and paintings made for Exeter Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Phoenix Gallery, Exeter (2019); Made in Britain, National Museum, Gdansk (2019); The Art of the Circus, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (2018); Towards Night, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne (2016); John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2014, 2004); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (2004, 2009, 2014); and Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London (2012).

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