29 August 1947
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Died||30 January 2021(aged 73)|
|Education||Ilam School of Fine Arts|
William Hammond (29 August 1947 – 30 January 2021) was a New Zealand artist who was part of the Post-colonial Gothic movement at the end of the 1990s. He lived and worked in Lyttelton, New Zealand. The theme of his works centred around the environment and social justice.
Hammond was born in Christchurch on 29 August 1947. He attended Burnside High School. He went on to study at the Ilam School of Fine Arts of the University of Canterbury from 1966 until 1969. Before embarking on his career in art, he worked in a sign factory, made wooden toys, and was a jewellery designer. He also had a keen interest in music, serving as the percussionist for a jug band.
Hammond started to exhibit his works in 1980, and went back to painting on a full-time basis one year later. His first solo exhibition came in March 1987, at the Peter McLeavey Gallery in Wellington. This was followed by over 20 further exhibitions at the aforementioned gallery.
One of Hammond's best known work was the painting Waiting for Buller (1993). This was in reference to Walter Lawry Buller, the first New Zealander ornithologist who wrote A History of New Zealand Birds in 1873. Hammond was particularly interested in the contradictions in Buller's life, in how he documented birds while being a hunter and taxidermist. Another noted piece of his was Fall of Icarus (1995), which explores the effects of the colonisation on the country, and is exhibited at Christchurch Art Gallery. The Guardian described this as "his most famous work". His painting Bone Yard, Open Home (2009) was the largest single piece of canvas he painted, with a width of more than four metres.
The overarching theme of Hammond's work was social and environmental issues. Specifically, it touched on the imperiled state of both, as well as the destruction brought on by colonisation. His paintings feature two common themes: references to popular music and gaunt creatures with avian heads and human limbs. The characters in Hammond's paintings, which were often anthropomorphic animals, rarely move away from their natural habitat and are in no hurry. Humans are notably absent from his works during the later part of his career, which was influenced by his visit to the Auckland Islands in 1989. Two signature colors employed by Hammond were emerald green and gold. He was also at the forefront of the Post-colonial Gothic movement. This ultimately became "one of the most influential tendencies in New Zealand painting" at the turn of the 3rd millennium.
Hammond eschewed giving interviews and guarded his privacy. He died on the evening of 30 January 2021, at the age of 73. He was labelled as one of the country's "most influential contemporary painters" by Radio New Zealand.
- Chartwell Collection at the Auckland Art Gallery
- Christchurch Art Gallery
- Fletcher Trust Collection
- Museum of New Zealand
- Sarjeant Gallery
- University of Auckland Art Collection
- Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
- "Hammond paints to own rare beat in Christchurch Art Gallery show".
- "Bill Hammond's private artistic vision". NZ Herald. 15 October 2000.
- Paul Wood, Andrew (11 July 2017). "Art: Bill Hammond". Verve magazine. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018.
- Simmons, Laurence; Armstrong, Philip (2007). Knowing Animals. ISBN 978-9004157736.
- "Bill Hammond, one of nation's most influential artists, has died". Radio New Zealand. 1 February 2021.
- Van Beynen, Martin; Law, Tina; Kenny, Lee (1 February 2021). "Lyttelton legend' Bill Hammond remembered for his 'immense' contribution to New Zealand's art". Stuff. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- "Bill Hammond, one of New Zealand's most influential artists, has died". The New Zealand Herald. 31 January 2021. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
- "Bill Hammond: Something is happening here". ArtNow. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020.
- de Jong, Eleanor (1 February 2021). "Bill Hammond, renowned New Zealand artist, dies aged 74". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- "Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning". Christchurch Art Gallery. 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- Potts, Annie; Armstrong, Philip; Brown, Deidre (March 2014). A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in Our Culture, History and Everyday Life. ISBN 9781869407728.
- "Shag Pile". Christchurch Art Gallery. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- "Bill Hammond – Fall of Icarus". Christchurch Art Gallery. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- Jackson, Blair (1 October 2020). "A Bird in the Hand". Christchurch Art Gallery. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- Gate, Charlie (18 March 2016). "Christchurch artist Bill Hammond sells quake-damaged Lyttelton studio". Archived from the original on 3 February 2019.
- Whitfield, Paul (September 2010). The Rough Guide to New Zealand. ISBN 9781405385480.
- "Bill Hammond – Cornwall Road – Chartwell Collection of contemporary art".
- "Living Large 6".
- "Loading... | Collections Online – Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa".
- "Bill Hammond". Sarjeant Gallery Whanganui. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Art Collection > "Twirl"".
- "New Zealand art lands in V&A museum | New Zealand News UK".