STUART HAMILTON Biography
Born in Manchester, England
Lives and works in San Pedro, California
Many of the objects depicted in Stuart Hamilton’s meticulously rendered drawings and paintings relate to specific times and places of his own history. They are earthly details taken out of context and laid out in geometric patterns, and as arranged by the artist, they do reflect a sense of order. In that sense, they are authentic representations of an organized universe.
Some of Hamilton’s work refers to the place from which its subject was taken. Many of the drawings in the March 2013 Catalyst Gallery show use topographic maps as a substrate – references to the Cumbrian region of his native Northwest England, and the port town of San Pedro, California where he lives.
“Maps have long held my fascination – not merely as a method of making my way in the world,” says Hamilton. “I had been working with stark white grounds in recent years, and felt that it was, in part, time to investigate other surfaces. Additionally, the maps are frequently connected to place and memory.”
Currently, Hamilton has put the acrylic paintings on hiatus, choosing instead to draw with a variety of natural, organic materials and pigments, such as powdered slate, graphite and iron oxide. Many of the stone subjects he portrays come from Cumbrian beaches and San Pedro tide pools, close to his studio at Angel’s Gate, overlooking the Pacific bluffs.
Whether using a rubbing technique to push pigment into the surface, or in the tightly-rendered graphite drawings, Hamilton has created an even more intimate connection with the work. “I’ve chosen to focus on the beauty of the small and unspectacular from the natural world around me.”