Art - Tom Hammick

In her 1993 novel, The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx captured the very essence of Newfoundland’s landscape when she wrote: ”This place, she thought, this rock, six thousand miles of coast blind-wrapped in fog. Sunkers under wrinkled water, boats threading tickles between ice-scabbed cliffs. Tundra and barrens, a land of stunted spruce men cut and drew away.” If it were possible to translate Proulx’s words into art it would be in a painting by Tom Hammick. His new show - 49th Parallel: Travels Through Newfoundland - captures the desolate, barren hinterland of the Canadian island perfectly. His emphasis on the impact of water, waterways and small boats in massive waterscapes - in works such as Labrador Ferry 1 - echoes Proulx and articulates a simpler way of life. In addition, Proulx’s clipped, staccato prose is mirrored in Hammick’s measured, understated and almost childlike images.

My favourite painting is Angel which, to me, depicts an angel walking on water by moonlight surrounded by gilded meteorites. It is an incredibly powerful image. While larger canvases dominate downstairs, nine small etchings in the gallery upstairs, exhibited from a series of 15, are a visual diary of a journey around the 49th Parallel, the line that runs through the Province. When I first read The Shipping News I dreamt of Newfoundland, having seen Tom Hammick’s show I want to go there. KA

Dusk on the Shore by Tom Hammick

HQ Gallery, 15 St John Street, Lewes
When? 10.30am-5.00pm till 1st July
How Much? Free
HQ Gallery
(t) 01273 487849
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