White Wall Review: Contemporary, Local, and Black
WHAT THEY SEE
At its core, my practice is about radical wonder and liberation. I am invested in a new paradigm of freedom and transformation of consciousness. Each piece contains a record of the process, informing the next as a roadmap to bridging the heart and mind.
Stories contain emergent themes of our human experience on a micro and macro level engaged with the language of abstraction. Materiality and experimentation emphasize the parallels of rigorous play and invention. A victorious color field suffused with linguistic mark-making, biomorphic shapes, torn edges, sinuous gestures, and embellishments celebrates the energy of risk-taking. Layers of paint and other materials consider the tensions of space, perception, and belonging. My practice asks for a willingness to believe in the cosmic makeup of our DNA and to locate ourselves in the constellation of infinite possibilities.
2020 MFA, Lesley Art + Design
2005 BFA, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
February 5-March 6 Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 5-8 p.m. Artist Talk: Thursday, March 5, 6-7:30 p.m.
HEIRLOOM Stephen Hamilton
Stephen Hamilton is an artist and arts educator living and working in Boston Massachusetts.
Stephen’s Work incorporates both Western and African techniques, blending figurative painting and drawing with resist dyeing, weaving, and woodcarving. Each image is a marriage between the aesthetic perspectives and artistry of both traditions. As a Black American trained in traditional west African artforms, he treats the acts of weaving, dyeing, and woodcarving as ritualized acts of reclamation. he uses traditional techniques and materials native to West Africa to reclaim ancestral knowledge dissociated from Africans in the Americas, during the transatlantic slave trade. The work explores and heavily references the Black body in pre-colonial African art history, creating visual connections between the past and the present. This forms a body of work, which serves as a conceptual and visual bridge between the ancient and modern worlds. Through this, he explores elements of black identity through time and space on its own terms.
Through visual comparison of shared philosophies and aesthetics amongst Black peoples, he seeks to describe a complex and varied Black aesthetic. These visual and philosophical connections and cultural analyses form his visual language. The pieces created depict African thought and culture as equal to, yet unique from, its western analog. This work stands in stark contrast to the pervasive negative associations, which have become synonymous with Black culture. his work, therefore, bridges dialogue between contemporary Black cultures and the ancient African world through an asset-based lens.
My body of work primarily focuses on highlighting the authenticity of Black female identities. Through photography, I enjoy telling stories without words and putting emphasis on our beauty, power and character. I see strength in spite of struggle, I see potential and most importantly, I see myself.
Depictions of brown skin, kinky hair and typically African facial features are always absent in my everyday life. From magazines, billboards, television shows, commercials, music and movies. There is a significant lack of visual representation when it comes to Black women.
My mission is to create images and the kind of representation that I feel society and communities must see. I want to continuously construct a body of work that humanizes and normalizes a Black woman’s natural beauty. We all collectively need to see ourselves in ways that make us feel powerful for being in the skin that we are in.
I specialize in portrait, fashion and beauty photography and in my leisure I capture whatever reels me in. Other than being behind the camera, I thoroughly enjoy traveling, video games, listening to music and cooking. I'm always up for a new experience and new adventure. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me anything.
“Heirloom,” a multimedia exhibition highlighting the cultural inheritance of Black peoples transcending time and space. Photographer Stacey S. Hamilton, and Painter, Textile/mixed media artist Stephen Hamilton heavily reference the rich visual language of precolonial Africa, to create portraits of Boston's Black Community.
Where: The Spoke Gallery at Medicine Wheel Productions* 110 K st, 2nd Floor, South Boston, Ma, 02127.
When: February 7th, 2020, 6 pm-8 pm Gallery Talk at 7 pm.
Directions: Take the Red line to Broadway then take #9 City point Bus to K street or the #7 Bus from South Station and get off at 1st Street.
For more information, please visit www.mwponline.org email email@example.com or call 617-268-6700.
Gallery hours for the exhibition are Tuesday - Friday 11-4 pm and by appointment.
All events associated with “Heirloom” are free and open to the public!
We are excited to see you all there! *Medicine Wheel Productions (MWP) is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency and also in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is administrated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.