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Hamilton, Alison

These sculptures are made from Mount Gambier limestone. This extraordinary stone is composed of sediment from ancient marine life, which lived in the warm shallow seas, once covering part of South Australia. Huge deposits of shells, corals, fish bones, shark’s teeth and other life, fell to the ocean floor and were compressed and fused together. This limestone, formed from the remnants of early life, is inspiring.

The stone is quite varied in colour, density and texture. After being worked these sculptures are sealed with a water-based sealant yet continue to harden. They are suitable for display outdoors with some discolouration and algae growth occurring.

Alison Hamilton was born in 1952 and grew up in Robe. From very early childhood art was an important activity for her. She was trained as a secondary school art teacher at Western Teachers College/Torrens Teachers College during 1971 to 1974. As part of this course she also attended the SA School of Art in North Adelaide. During her art teacher training she completed 3 years of Aboriginal Studies. This study had a subtle yet profound influence on the way she approaches art and increases her deep respect and appreciation for the natural world. This is reflected in her art with the use of organic forms and the universal language of symbolism.

She worked as a secondary art teacher at Victor Harbour High School and Mount Compass Area School between 1975 and 1984, teaching art and design. In 1986 she and her husband moved to Carrickalinga then raised a young family. In 1996 she began focusing on producing stone sculptures for gallery shows and commissions, working from her studio in Carrickalinga.

In her art Alison blends elements of growth and movement and explores primal forms, suited to the ancient stone with its remains of life. Her art combines abstract and natural forms, based usually around human, plant, birdlife, shell and simple geometrical forms. In recent years she has also explored the use of driftwood and shells with other media. Working and living in an open garden and environment near the sea has been a source of inspiration.

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