Short memory represents a conversation between two Wellington artists: painter Hamish Coleman and a photographer whose work he admires Michael Mahne Lamb. Across the different mediums, the two artists share an interest in the abstraction of figurative detail which can serve to move us away from a worldly 'sea of chatter' to a quieter place which allows fleeting moments to be seen, savoured and recalled.For the photographer here, this is an act of subtraction, a removal of excessive detail to deny the importance of subject or place, to place our focus entirely on the image. For the painter, addition, through the building up of layers of paint, is the critical act. Both approaches invite the viewer to create their own narrative and response.
Across both practices, we see recurring spheres of light and dark, a soft focus which creates a sense of vibration, and a dance between the ephemeral and the indelible.
Hamish Coleman, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) in painting from Ilam School of Fine Arts at University of Canterbury, has been showing with the gallery since 2015. We are pleased to introduce Michael Mahne Lamb who holds a Bachelor of Design (Honours) from Massey University and is currently pursuing an MFA in photography at the University of Hartford in the US.
Please note that the interference paint used by Coleman creates a surface effect within his painting and, to varying degrees across the works, the surface colour and sheen changes in line with the viewing angle. Coleman's use of this paint and his creation of surface mobility generates a dialogue with conventional expectations that painting is two-dimensional, flat and stable.
Press release courtesy Bartley + Company Art.