Get to know Perth based artist Shannon Hamilton who is renown for her Mother and Child bold figurative paintings touching the viewer with feelings of fun, togetherness, and memories of past moments that they may have experienced themselves.
Shannon Hamilton has been exhibiting with JahRoc Galleries for the last 10 years and we have seen her go from strength to strength holding constant interest from visitors to the gallery who can relate so easily to her paintings that depict our iconic Australian Beach Lifestyle.
Enjoy Getting to know….Shannon Hamilton
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realise you had talent?
I have honestly felt the desire to paint and draw since I was very young, probably from 2-3 years of age. Whenever I had the opportunity to do it, I did. My parents always encouraged this side of me through my schooling and although I was convinced initially to start my adult working life with another profession, I always continued my artwork as much as possible on weekends and spare time during the weeks. I don’t think it was until early highschool that I realized I had some talent-this was mostly from feedback I’d get from my art teachers and other students. I just knew how I felt in the process of making something, it was what I craved to do all the time.
Where did you learn your art?
I learnt a lot of my art skills at highschool with my exceptional and very influential art teacher in years 11 and 12. Following this, I commenced studying Fine Arts at UWA whilst still keeping up my interests in the human body and science (I studied a few Science units as well). As this was the first year of the FA course at UWA, it was run by the architectural school and really didn’t include much practice, predominantly theoretical. It didn’t fulfill my passion for the actual “doing” and creating so I didn’t continue with this degree. After being convinced by many that Art would not sustain a living in the future, I applied for and completed my Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) which I worked in for many years and loved for its connection with people.
What inspires you most?
People/ relationships, beaches, bodies, sun and bold colour.
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
I try to depict the connection between people, to capture feelings between people that are momentary and fleeting. I’m particularly interested in the relationship between mother and child or familiar relationships. I find these fascinating on so many levels in ours and other cultures, and they change minute by minute each day. As life goes by so quickly, I attempt to hold these moments in time and make them last a bit longer for us to stop and appreciate.
Describe your studio?
My studio was purpose built at my home in Wembley, Perth and as far as design, I couldn’t ask for much more. It was designed to maximize light which it does beautifully. It is however, a big mess – ‘a creative mess’ is the term I like to use – but its my space and my mess to leave and return to when I like – bliss as far as I’m concerned!
Describe your typical day of creating art?
Probably very similar to a lot of mums – getting kids ready for school, school drop off, a good coffee, then into it for the next 5 hours (ideally uninterrupted) until school pick up. As my youngest has just commenced fulltime schooling this year, I now have more days in which to do this! I have always treated it like a “proper job” in this sense as otherwise there are constant distractions to be pulled away from it. I have a good work ethic and have kept it going through all pregnancies and births of my 3 children.
I often schedule commissions on weekends when kids and parents are more available and also weather dependent for beach studies also.
What mediums do you use and why?
I now use mostly oils on canvas. I also, at times, use mixed media including fabric (silks, batiks, paper) oil crayons, chalk pastels, guache and acrylic bases as well as spray paints.
What are you working on now?
I’m pretty constantly working on several commissions at the one time as I have a very large list for the next 18 months or more. Whilst doing this, I feel it incredibly important to keep painting “my visions” on canvas to keep my passion alive for what I want to create, not only painting what others wish. I continue mostly with the beach-themed paintings of people capturing the colourful essence of Perth/Australia and capturing moments of intimacy between individuals. Primarily this is often the sibling or parental relationship.
What do you love most about what you do?
I LOVE that I have my own hours and my own “different” self created profession. I LOVE and appreciate that people “get” my work and want to see more! I feel so incredibly lucky to have a demand for my work and I LOVE meeting incredible and special people, little and big! I LOVE that my kids can see that if you work hard, they can too do something that comes from the heart. I LOVE being able to “give” to people and “help” people who come to me at difficult times in their life to create a memorable and much needed art work that can inspire them to move forward. I feel privileged to enter such peoples lives in times of need and that my work can help them in some way.
Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?
I would love to be seen as a more well- known Australian Artist who can capture beautiful relationships in time. I hope to be still doing what im doing now, perhaps with a little more leisure time (less demands) but not necessarily! I love what I do so I really hope I can just continue to do it as much as possible.