Bill Hammond often uses birds and horses to suggest New Zealand’s early history, with the horses assuming human qualities while the sleek, metamorphosing birds speak of nature. In this lithograph a horse and birds sit around a table, seemingly involved in some kind of negotiation or deal. Freely drawn, the lithograph is an excellent example of Hammond’s inventive and distinctive style. His imagery is often influenced by contemporary culture and other art traditions. In this work, the stylised wave in the lower right section refers to Japanese woodcuts.
Hammond was born in Christchurch and studied at the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts. He held his first solo exhibition in 1979 and in 1993 received the James Wallace Award. The following year he won the Premier Award in the Visa Gold Art Award. Hammond is represented in private and public collections throughout New Zealand and his work has been included in a number of major international exhibitions.
(Gallery opening hang, May 2003)
Hmmm… there’s definitely something suspicious going on here. It’s the big guys with the beaks - are they pressuring their little horse pal? Or is this just a bunch of ordinary guys having a friendly chat?