Thursday, 4 August 2011
TOY TOWN REVOLUTION: Paintings and drawings by Nichollas Hamper
It is hard to ignore a painting by Nichollas Hamper. They scream for attention, dazzel us when we look and then force us to inspect their busy scenes.Once hooked we find ourselves in a strange world where the comic can easily turn into a nightmare. Beneath their shimmery surfaces and toy town charm that initially lure us, there lies a deeper sense of menace. we find the pleasant English countryside inhabited by mechanical rabbits and automaton farmers; a vase of sunflowers becomes, at second glance, a bouqet of buzz-saw blades, while the sun or moon that illuminates these scenes casts steely blue beams more like razor blades than than rays of light. In the depiction of a toy town revolution Hamper gives irony to the false promises of the machine age from the perspective of post industrialism. For all this, the paintings remain essentially optimistic,although rigidly stylized the images presented to us are so full of vitality that you feel they may vibrate them selves off the wall.