The Newfoundland series: the trail
Hammick, Tom (2005) The Newfoundland series: the trail The Rooms, Art Gallery of Newfoundland & Labrador, VARIOUS: Newfoundland & Labrador.
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Hammick’s research for the Newfoundland Trail centred on three major intersecting themes: the politics of Newfoundland; the role of the man-made and transformation of the natural into the consumable; and the expansive landscape that dwarfs the isolated fishing settlements of the Province. Developed through Hammick’s distinctive interweaving of media in exploring these themes, the simplicity and directness of the painted images provided a source of inspiration for the etchings, while the linear contours of woodcuts informed the visual processes that underlie the larger painted canvases. His investigations are evident in this series of 15 etchings and 8 paintings: a visual diary of a journey around the 49th Parallel, the line that intersects the Province. This study referenced the dramatic landscape of Powell and Pressburger’s film The '49th Parallel' (1941) and captured Hammick’s own intimate journey and experience of the sparsely populated landscape of Newfoundland in a Winnebago. This was made possible by the two-month travel award that accompanied the residency. 'Hammick conveys the harsh life of the country with its isolated homesteads and rusting coasters plying their dying trade along rocky coasts with a childlike directness and simplicity that is hard to achieve.' The Week (22 October, 2005) Jerwood prizewinner Hammick, produced this series of etchings and paintings on an invited 3-month residency at ‘the rooms’ at the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, funded by The Rooms; St. Michael’s Printshop; and the Canadian Arts Council. The British Museum purchased half of the Newfoundland series in 2006. The work was reviewed in several publications including The Observer (Caroline Boucher, 16 October 2005), The Independent (Sue Hubbard, 2005) and the Irish Times (Aidan Dunn, April 2006).
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