Flowers New York: 11 September – 11 October 2014.
Tom Hammick’s particular visual imagery stems in part from a vision conjured up in the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness. His paintings, woodcuts and collaged dry-points have the feel of half dreams; while they are based firmly on personal experiences, their color and subject matter have the heightened truth of a world in crisis.
Skies and foregrounds are flattened out, opening up a form of breathing space contrasting areas of pattern which clothe and protect their inhabitants, or allude to their built environments. On one level, what one sees is a two-dimensional arrangement of colors and shapes; yet on another, Hammick’s visual hallucinations essay a quite extreme metaphor for a memory turned ominous, like haunting imagery from the stories of J.G. Ballard, Philip K Dick.
Landscape in Hammick’s hypnagogic vision is anything but bland: figures are often dwarfed by their settings. They seem to shimmer and jangle, turning into disturbed receptors of a rush of environmental and social change.
As a painter, and in particular as a printmaker, Hammick has been influenced by looking at traditions of art outside Western culture including, Japanese print and film, Chinese scroll painting and Indian miniatures. Hammick’s woodblock prints and etchings of varying scale can be seen to create a visual equivalent of Buddhist and Confucian contemplation of the relationship between humankind and nature.