The owls are not what they seem

Bill Hammond Art

Good day to you sirs!

I’d like to introduce you to a little art crush of mine… he’s an iconic New Zealand artist by the name of Bill Hammond.

I first came across his work when I was on holiday in Wellington in 2008, and saw his exhibition Jingle Jangle Morning at the Wellington City Gallery. Suffice to say, it was so choice I have remembered it to this very day.

Bill Hammond artist 2

The thing about these works is that they are huge and all-encompassing. The jade and emerald green colours are so intense they make your eyes vibrate and your spleen squeak. Viewing the paintings is like a stepping through the looking-glass into a terrifying primaeval world peopled by silent and sentient bird-men.

Bill Hammond detail

The birds are Hammond’s main motif. He became haunted by them after a trip to the Auckland Islands in 1989 and he spoke of them as a kind of lost world, ruled over by beak and claw. He saw the islands as being representative of a paradisaical New Zealand, free from predators and free from man.

Bill Hammond, Unkown European ArtistBill HAmmond Artist

What impresses me most about these works, and keeps them fresh in my mind after having seen them years ago, is that Hammond has created a poignant and vaguely foreboding world that feels like a dream… and that’s not an easy feat to pull off.

What about you guys? Which artists’ haunt your dreams with their terrifying visions?

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Filed under Artists, Inspiration

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