Wok Tossed Summer

Artists Chronicle, September 2003, Lyn Di Ciero

Wok Tossed Summer

Forget the rain and cold, get out the sunglasses for Shannon Hamilton’s exhibition at Margaret River Galleries in late September.

Artist Shannon Hamilton has put her extensive travels in Asia together with vibrant images of Australian beaches in the colourful exhibition Wok Tossed Summer at Margaret River Galleries. Her rhythmic style blends with a dance of colour to create joyous images of life. Her ongoing passion with figures and the counterplay of light on the body is evident in many works in the exhibition.

Shannon developed an early interest in contrasting cultures through various overseas trips with her family. Later in London, she viewed an exhibition of works by Vietnamese artists Nguyen Thann Binh and Dai Hai Phong, which inspired her to visit Vietnam to further investigate their work. She has followed their work since, citing their influence on her own manner of painting.

Wok Tossed Summer explores the gradual Westernisation of Vietnam. “There are many conflicts between the traditional and the western in Vietnam” said Shannon. “The motorbike was introduced only two years ago, but people still prefer the much used simple bicycle”.

“Despite the conflict of over ten main religions, numerous social structures and political regimes, the people have an internal peace, and stick to important cultural traditions, and value family and friends above all”.

Shannon has depicted sultry Asian women with a confident, modern look. Her interest in the figure reflects her work in the past as an Occupational Therapist.

She prefers to delve deeply in to communities to depict their life soul. The exhibition looks at both Australians and Asians in their environment, their relationship with the land and within their community.

This is the fifth solo exhibition for Shannon, who is based in Perth. Through her travels to Asia she has been invited to exhibit at The Blue Space Galleries in Saigon, and the Museum of Fine Art (Saigon) to conduct an international Artist’s Workshop in November this year. In March next year she will exhibit at Gadfly Gallery in Dalkeith, followed by an exhibition at Maruska Gallery, Melbourne in November 2004. Her work is also represented at Pearlers Row Gallery, Broome.

Her work is represented in the collections of Westfarmers, St John of God Hospital, Kimberley Fine Diamonds, Taylor James group and HU Kendall.

Wok Tossed Summer opens at Margaret River Galleries on 27 September, and continues to 12 October. Margaret River Galleries is located at 91 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River. Phone 9757 2729 for more information or visit the website at www.margaretriverart.com