Artist Spotlight #79: Angus Hamra

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Self Portrait, 2017, oil and enamel on canvas, 77cm x 66cm

Hello Angus! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?

I am an artist living between Adelaide and Melbourne, predominately working in oil, aerosol, and enamel.

Who inspires you? What inspires your art?

I am interested in the human world and its relationship to its natural surroundings. I guess experience drives my work.

In terms of artists, I’m inspired by the expression of Austrian and German painters such as Egon Schiele, George Baselitz and more recently Daniel Richter. In Australia, I’ve always been inspired by artists such as Fred Williams, John Brack, Brett Whiteley and William Dobell.  However I find Tony Albert, Fiona Lowry, William Mackinnon, and Brook Andrew’s different interpretations of the human world also inspiring.

Generally music often inspires my work, whether it be a lyric, expression or overall atmosphere of a piece of music. This can vary from Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, or The Cure to John Coltrane, Miles Davis or even various Italian and French artists.

Do you have a preferred medium?

I always try to push myself into different mediums, but I always come back to painting in oils.

How would you describe your style?

Although my work is relatively figurative, my application is more on the gestural side, through a series of building up and scraping off. Being self taught, I believe that this style is more instinctive rather than a schooled method of painting.

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Ghost Gums, 2016, oil on canvas, 100cm x 200cm

Can you please describe your artistic and creative process?

I believe this is always a struggle, but in saying that, my best ideas always come through a process of working and drawing. Some things will work and I might try and continue that onto a larger piece of work. However, some things I initially think will work often ended up in the bin/reused. I also believe that the best pieces of work involve some form of risk where the end result is more of a surprise.

Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?

Hopefully showing in two or more states and potentially overseas would be great!

If you could recommend one artist, who would it be and why?

Horace Trenerry as he was one of the first South Australian painters I came across. I believe he is our Van Gogh.

What is your favourite gallery and why?

Internationally, probably the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. It’s such an interesting journey into his development from a realist prodigy to where he starts to change the course of art.

In Adelaide, I would say Hugo Michell Gallery is perhaps the gallery I visit the most. It’s a great space with an amazing list of artists.

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White Guys Finish Last?, 2017, oil, aerosol and enamel on canvas, 160cm x 120cm

Where can we find more of your work?

I’m currently working on a large body of work for sometime next year. Until then, find me at my website or on Instagram @angus_hamra.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which artist would you choose?

As tough of a choice as that is, I think it would have to be the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, as its so complex and layered, yet so simple in its feeling.

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