Artist Bio and Art Statement
Andrea Hamann is a UK born, Australian Artist and Designer previously based on Norfolk Island, but now in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Andrea works primarily with acrylic on canvas or timber panel, however she also works in watercolour and mixed media, including with ink and chalk pastel on paper, and occassionally weaves in some natural fibres into her art practice.
Artist Statement: 20 years ago someone affectionately gave me the moniker Artbitch. I always wondered whether they saw something in me that I didn't yet see in myself or whether it was just a bit of a joke. Or both. Whatever it was, I never took it seriously. I spent 20 years turning away from the ''art'' part of myself, never fully giving it the energy it deserved. Thanks to a confluence of curious circumstances, I got the opportunity to spend two years focused entirely on painting on an Island in the middle of the Pacific. Since then there has been no turning back. Finally, I have turned my full attention to art, and now art influences everything I do.
My art is inspired by the places I have lived, the histories surrounding them, and the botanical landscapes of each place. I spent two years living in a world heritage house on Norfolk Island, where my studio was the old servants quarters, complete with two hundred year old sandstone floors, white washed walls and an ancient bread oven. 100 metres down the end of my street was the Pacific Ocean. These two years on Norfolk Island reconnected me to my own history, and to the landscape. On Norfolk the sea is every colour of blue, and often the colour of opals. The sky is big and fueled my big sky obsessions. Directly south of there, with nothing in between...over 8000 kilometres away is Antarctica. Norfolk Island is truly in the middle of nowhere. This isolation gave me time to really focus and understand my voice and my subject, my stories and experiences of the landscape and cultures of the post colonial tropics.
I am extremely responsive to the landscape around me, and to stories and ideas encountered in the places I have lived. I explore themes that relate to these places. In Norfolk it was all about tropical jungles and gardens but my work went beyond that, as I explored my own history, Cornish ancestry, an early childhood in PNG and time spent living or visiting other places where there has been a history of colonialism impacting on tribal cultures. Many of my paintings from Norfolk and Sydney explore memories and stories of these places, and the convergence of Indigenous cultures with colonial histories. The characters in my paintings were representative of me, of women I have known, and of the women of these cultures and histories; colonial, convict, Tahitian Pitcairn wives, and Melanesian and Polynesian women.
Moving to a new place inevitably brings new influences, forms and colour palettes, and right now the highlands landscape has triggered a new exploration, into blossoms, flowers, thickets, nests, and birds.
2016 Tahitian Convict paintings at Hilli Dining Restaurant on Norfolk Island
2015 Tahitian Convict series of drawings at Edge of the World Gallery, also on Norfolk Island.