Mixed Media by David Hamling
Space is the potential from which painting can exist; painting, as an activity, can only be realised through the existence of this space. Technique is the process through which this activity may be realised to the greatest effect, and no more than that. This effect can obliterate the feeling if such potential and replace it with no more than interesting an activity, thus it is necessary to control the technique and not allow it to dominate the activity.
Artists can, and often do, fool themselves when they say they are making art. They simply mean they are manipulating materials well. This could easily be done by computers, but what computers cannot do is deal with value: meaning – geist.
Thus there is a fine line between what we like and what affects us; what we are able to control and what is of importance to us. There is a fine line between using technique and making good art. We need to be aware of the spaces in order to fill them just the right amount. We must see the spaces and inhabit them, live them and be part of them; then the next mark or fields of colour become apparent because they are needed. Until you see, you cannot paint; until you feel you cannot make meaningful art. The activity is not a separate event, painting is part of life, and the painter should reveal this. It is necessary to surrender to these feelings that drives the painter on; this, combined with the need to control what I experienced through both the objective and the subjective. So, as a painter I often feel like the ventriloquist and the ventriloquist’s dummy both at the same time.
Most of my work is based on Dartmoor and is largely concerned wither with balance, equilibrium and pressure, or more recently, isolation and alienation. The more photographic work is an attempt to understand the techniques and processes hinted at above, thus I have aped the photographic image to demonstrate its detachment from the real or spiritual. The more abstracted work that accompanies it attempts to reach the more spiritual aspect of the landscape and isolates certain aspects of it. This is the geist. The fascination in the landscape for me, is the multiplicity of surfaces inherent within that landscape. This combined with the weight and monumentality of the rock structures remains a lifetime issue, never to be fully resolved.
I studied at the University for Creative Arts (then Maidstone College of Art and considered by many to be the best college for Fine Art 1st Degrees in Britain). Whilst there, I attained an Honours Degree in Fine Art and was fortunate enough to receive tuition from David Oxtoby, Stuart Brisley, Fred Cuming and Keith Grant amongst others, with David Hockney as a visiting lecturer.
I continued my studies at Sussex University attaining a PGCE in Art and Design. This ultimately enabled me to lecture in Fine Art and Graphic Design to degree and to become Director of Foundation in Art and Design at Weymouth.
Throughout my career I have been fascinated by the Geological aspects of Dartmoor and the South Devon Coast. Early work in this field enabled me to exhibit with the Penwith Society of Arts for a number of years, exhibiting work alongside Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Alexander McKenzie and many other eminent artists, painters and sculptors.
During this time, I also exhibited work ins West End Galleries, including Crane Kalman and Redfern Gallery. I had work accepted and included in the Teeside International Drawing Biennale in 1975 and won the Westward Television Open Art Exhibition in 1976.
Throughout my art career I have managed to maintain a balance between lecturing and a steady output of my own work. In the last ten years, since retirement, I have concentrated fully on my own work, having eight one-man shows in the region, including three large exhibitions at Harbourhouse, Kingsbridge and have sold work both in the UK and internationally.
Mixed Media | Silver Sand, Bronze Dust, Liquitex and Carbonundum
Framed in an open frame