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Hammond paints to own rare beat in Christchurch Art Gallery show

Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: arts, exhibition

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 23rd July 2019

An evocative exhibition featuring rarely or never seen works by leading contemporary artist Bill Hammond will take centre stage at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū from August.

Titled Bill Hammond: Playing the Drums, the exhibition alludes to the Christchurch artist’s passion for drumming and percussion, and a lifetime love of music.

Hammond’s studies at the University of Canterbury’s Ilam School of Fine Arts in the 1960s were complemented by his trap set percussion talents as a member of a popular folk group, Band of Hope Jug Band.

More than 40 artworks covering several decades of Hammond’s work will be on display at the Christchurch Art Gallery from Saturday 3th August to Sunday 19th January next year. The exhibition includes works from the Lyttelton-based artist’s private collection.

Christchurch Art Gallery Director Blair Jackson says Playing the Drums provides the perfect opportunity to “celebrate the works of one of New Zealand’s great artists”.

“Much of Hammond’s early work features musical references, including song titles and lyrics,” Mr Jackson says. “However, Hammond is most renowned for his striking half-human, half-bird creatures.

“Many of Hammond’s later works convey a deep sense of disquiet as the artist explores the fragility of the natural environment.

“The precarious nature of today’s world and the vulnerability of all species - including humanity - are very much in focus in Hammond’s later works.”

Bill Hammond: Playing the Drums brings together a wide selection of Hammond’s work - early and late - from some of his smallest works on paper to some of his largest paintings on canvas.

Among the highlights is the opportunity to see The Fall of Icarus - a Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū collection favourite - on the wall for the first time in over a decade.

Another is the inclusion of Bone Yard Open Home, Cave Painting 4, Convocation of Eagles. The work was painted in 2008, and is more than two metres tall and four metres long - with strong connections to Lyttelton, Sumner, Redcliffs and Banks Peninsula. It is the first time that Bone Yard Open Home has been shown in Christchurch and only the third time it has been displayed publicly.

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