(Wakefield, Québec, Canada)
Chris Hamilton Work in Progress
Chris Hamilton Drift
I am a sculptor, mother and partner living in Wakefield, Quebec. Full time motherhood of an energetic boy helped me to recognize the importance of art in my life. Three years ago I left a career in science writing to pursue art full time. My love of nature and my education in Biology, Entomology and Ornithology greatly influence my work. I strive to merge the rational and the emotional, loss and regrowth, failure and beauty in the pieces I create. When I’m not sculpting I’m beekeeping, gardening, and keeping up with my son.
When once I turned the pages of an animal encyclopedia with wonder, I now look at the same book with my son and feel sadness as I see images of the animals that will become extinct within his lifetime. To find solace, I seek comfort in the envisioning of ‘the after’. My training as a biologist and my knowledge of evolutionary history tells me that life is tenacious and finds its way back in new ways after the meteor has struck. The human species is the next meteor and we are witnessing the next mass extinction. What will evolve and flourish after we have left our mark? And what will humanity become?
My sculptures explore these questions through the use of metal and various types of clay. They are meant to convey a gradual reclamation by nature—never violent, simply ambivalent. Nature consumes and will reclaim, regardless of our interests. Perhaps there is even redemption in the reclamation—a return back to the earth and a synergy between human and the rest of nature.
Venturing into sculpture has been liberating for me. I can finally render the ideas in my mind into the tangible. The flexibility of wire armatures allows me to modify proportions in ways that are aesthetically strange and fluid. Leaving the black steel wire visible compliments the organic textures of clay by adding an industrial and inorganic feel.
I continue to explore these feelings of loss and regrowth in my work, expanding my repertoire of skills and working with new materials that help drive the ideas in my mind.