Toni Hamel

The Legacy

Honourable Mention

Medium: Graphite, watercolour on Strathmore paper
Size: 17 x 25 inches (framed)
Price: $600.00

"The legacy", more than a visual representation of the bond between generations, is an interpretation of how life lessons, attachments, and wisdoms are passes down the genealogical line. In rural communities this transmission of assets, both concrete and intangible, is even more essential in order to ensure the survival of the individual and the wellbeing and prosperity of the familial nucleus.

I am a poet by nature and a story-teller by vocation. As an artist, I have also invested myself with the role of social commentator, trying to expose the underlying truths in commonly upheld views and beliefs characteristic of our culture. My work may therefore be simply interpreted as an illustrated commentary on human frailties. Although representational in nature, the realities I choose to represent are not those belonging to the physical realm, but those lurking in the collective psyche. No topic is too sacred: from religion to history, the environment and social norms, my narratives make reference to our psychological traits and behavioural tendencies - the virtues and the vices, the holy and the profane, the good and the bad. Rendered through a visual vocabulary that employs a perceptually ruthless manipulation of reality, noted symbolisms and allegories, distorted scales and perspectives, the imagery laid on the visual plane works simply as a support structure for the underlying message I need to convey. Moreover, the juxtaposition of words and imagery invites the viewer to infer multiple alternative meanings, and to assign to each piece a very personal interpretation, thus expanding even further the scope of my original intention.
Technically, the conceptual framework of my practise leads me to work across media - drawing, painting, sculpture and installation - executed with both traditional and non-traditional materials. Stylistically, I like to constantly explore new visual vocabularies that may afford me originality both of thought as well as execution.

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