After delivering some work to Rye Art Gallery for their Printmaking Show, for the first time we kept going and found ourselves at Dungeness under the shadow of the humming nuclear power station amid decaying fishermans huts, rotting wooden boats, as well as newly spruced up clapboard cribs and new fishing catamarans which seemed far too large to be hauled up on the large beach.
We saw a sign saying open studio and found ourselves in the exhibition spaces and studio of Paddy Hamilton who also came out to talk to us. Paddy moved from Vauxhall central London to the cul-de-sac at the end of the world - Dungeness beach, by the old lighthouse and Nuclear Power Station.Paddy's studio looks out over the beach to the English Channel where huge skyscrapers of bulk carriers and container ships pass close by, and fishing boats from slightly further back along the beach ply up and down trawling or hauling nets. His work is inspired by the location with relief prints of the people, dogs and prawn fishermen who walk the ridge of shingle outside the studio window. His paintings at the moment are of 'ghost ships' in oils and wax, appearing spookily out of nowhere when the sea mists shift and somehow magnify the ships. He says this new work has found favour in Eastern Europe speaking to something in the Russian character.
Other work is of the detritus of the beach, - fishing huts leaning alarmingly after years of driving wind rain and storms, piles of faded fishing crates, rotting wooden fishing boats and the vans and tractors the beach somehow attracts - many of which stay permanently.
Paddy has turned his garden and pathways into artworks - the path to the studio is bordered by a picket fence narrowing to create a false perspective, paths of plastic flotsom, gleamed from the beach, found objects and a 'grave' made from old paintbrushes.
Two galleries - painted beachuts - are open to the public each with a different feel and Paddy sometimes takes the exhibitions on the road, staying in his deliciously curvy 1960's caravan, aiming to bring a piece of Dungeness to wherever he ends up.
You can see more of his work at http://www.paintings-for-sale.net/
and he has a blog detailing new work and what's he's up to http://paddyhamiltonstudios.blogspot.com/
Friday, 9 April 2010
Posted by Jon at 15:49