Art | Signage + Architecture + Urban Design | Michelle Hamer

Michelle Hamer studied architecture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where she has also held teaching roles and following work as an Architect in Melbourne and as a research assistant with Phillip Goad and Conrad Hamann, Hamer has established herself as an artist investigating the intersection of signage, graphic imaging, architecture and urban design. Her work employs hand‐stitched tapestry to explore signage and the graphic image and the way they can inform, guide and often restrict our existence. The tapestries are beautiful objects and the underlying commentary of the work offers insightful and provocative access into the process of reading the city and its satellites as we pass through them, often unconscious to the way we now inhabit them.

The rendering of otherwise common urban scenes and signs, in a pixelated and almost fractured presentation seems to slow the graphic impact, insisting that the viewer looks further into the image. When close up, much of the image is lost and it is only when viewed from a distance that the full narrative emerges. In the Tramspotting series (images below, courtesy of the artist), this interplay is wonderfully illustrated where traditional perceptions of perspective and context are disrupted through the process of digital photo-stitching and the overlay of actual stitching.

In the forthcoming solo show, Dangling Carrots, Hamer intends to transport the viewer to the post financial crisis suburbs of Melbourne; posing questions on how the ever expanding outer world on the edge of the city is responding to ‘suburban dreams’.  The contribution made by the signage that proposes the delivery of those dreams comes under investigation and will be brought to life by the inclusion of interactive projections by Cat Wilson.

Dangling Carrots – Michelle Hamers’ tenth solo show from April 29 through June 11, 2011 at Craft Victoria, Gallery 1, 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia.

Standby for an interview with Michelle Hamer – coming soon to

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