‘Flat out’ with new projects, exhibition


Alexandra artist Marg Hamilton has been on a roll since finishing teaching art at Dunstan High School last year.
After nearly 40 years teaching it was ‘‘time to do other things’’, but that did not mean she had slowed down.
With a solo exhibition at Eade Gallery during October, and other projects coming up, Mrs Hamilton had been ‘‘flat out’’.
Some people found winter ‘‘long and slow’’ but for Mrs Hamilton it had been ‘‘fantastic, I’ve painted, I’ve been happy as’’.
Her work focused on stylised landscapes with a ‘‘graphic representation’’.
‘‘I take the landscape elements of hills and mountains and river flats and lakes, and basically just organise them in different ways.’’
‘‘They are like ingredients that make up Central Otago.’’
Mrs Hamilton preferred to paint with acrylics on wooden boards, adding texture with impasto gel or foil.
Stencils also provided design elements.
Her latest series looked at the ‘‘moon motif in the landscape’’.
‘‘There is something magic about a moon over a landscape.’’
A full moon had a particular effect on her.
‘‘It is very cyclic with me and with mydaughters; none of us sleep as well when there is a full moon, and then once it disappears we settle down again — we haven’t taken to howling, though.’’
Her days as an art teacher still had an influence —‘‘I use school colours from my days as an art teacher — it’s cheap and cheerful. I mean I could probably get far more beautiful colours if I was prepared to pay a fortune, but I mix all my own colours.’’
A limited palette was part of her style, usually using black and white with two other colours.
‘‘I find if you limit your palette, it makes a more cohesive kind of work.’’
How people felt when viewing her work was up to them, Mrs Hamilton said.
‘‘I wouldn’t like to dictate what I feel they should be seeing in the work, I just hope they will enjoy it.’’
Over the years of teaching art Mrs Hamilton had ‘‘squillions’’ of pupils go through her classroom.
A class with 30 pupils could all begin with the same starting point and there would be 30 different directions that each pupil took their art.
‘‘There are no parameters on that creativity, and that is what I love about art.’’
The pupils had been a great source of satisfaction and delight.
‘‘Every single day of my teaching career they would do something that would just please me enormously,’’ she said.
‘‘They have been gorgeous kids, with great senses of humour, and we have had lovely times in the art room.’’
But there was little time to look back as a busy schedule of work kept Mrs Hamilton where she loved to be — creating her next masterpiece.
‘‘There is that glorious feeling of waking up in the morning and knowing that there are no parameters on my day.’’


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