Spooky as a Sargent Nocturne, Tom Hammick’s oil paintings are here awash with blue, depicting campsites, cabins and ships. He’s deeply influenced by the Romantic movement, with the figure of the solitary striver explains why none of his figures seem to look at or talk to each other.
That’s not to say they’re entirely rejecting material culture: in Walden Pond, partygoers cluster around a shiny camper van. And there’s something lovely and regular about the sailboat that appears in many of the paintings.
Romantic references abound. There’s something of Caspar David Friedrich in Hammick’s usage of windows as a framing device - as well as the interest in pretty ships. Poet Dreaming explicitly apes the pose of Henry Wallis’ dead Chatterton, on permanent show up the road in Tate Britain.
Other works explicitly reference Wordsworth and Walden Pond in their titles. And, as I mentioned earlier, there seemed to me to be something of that late Romantic’s dark blue and gold views of the Thames by Chelsea bridge in the works’ colour scheme.
Hammick painted these at works at night during a residency at Aldeburgh, a wild part of the country. But the places referenced in the paintings are all American.
He’s a printmaker as well as a painter. I hope to see some of his woodcuts in a future exhibition!
Tom Hammick: Night Animals is at Flowers (London). 4 April - 18 May 2019