Nichollas Hamper

 

 

 

Gallery One

 

"Art" Babble

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2018

 

Isle of Dogs

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2018

 

Butcher's Apron

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2018

 

 

 

Gallery Two

 

D.V. Code

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2019

 

Planet Deluge

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2018

 

Covid Yee Ha!

Acrylic paint, PVA, glitter on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

300x194cm / 2020

 

 

 

Gallery Three

 

Brexit-Butlitz

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2019

 

Gotcha Baby

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

250x194cm / 2018

2018

 

The Way of the Wighteous Wabbit

Acrylic paint, PVA, on 200g acid-free cartridge paper

150x194cm / 2018

2020

 

 

 

When Gig Depio made the trip from Nevada to Scarborough in 2019, he brought with him nine paintings he began sketching out twelve months earlier. Things were written and I heard it said, and maybe I said it, that this – what Gig was doing – was history painting. And that they were unashamedly epic, too. There was a sense that this was not what people do anymore and that’s why it felt exciting and new. Gig almost lost his hair painting them, so many hours did he work on them. Big stretches of time. Too long into the night under lamps, eyes failing, follicles weakening. His doctor said stop but he got the paintings done and delivered on an idea we came up with on Facebook Messenger. We made something happen and we were very pleased with ourselves.

 

Tick-Tock. Time has moved. This summer’s end – this strangled chicken of a summer – belongs, at Three Works, to Nichollas Hamper. It must be eighteen months since Nichollas began these nine works over in his barn in the South-West region of France. I’ve watched him post his progress on Facebook. I felt proud like I had something to do with them. For ages, thumbnails and pixels, yes, but heading here soon in real life, I would think, and feel pleasure in all this transaction. And arriving in Scarborough via DHL a few weeks back – rolled and tall – it was an event in itself. They were packed well and gave no give. They were solid to touch and I carried the parcel into the galleries like a misplaced strongman contestant humping a log.

 

New carpet?, asked the delivery man beaming.

 

Nichollas Hamper gives little away in sound and speech, and a keyboard warrior he absolutely is not, but he is a copiously generous painter – with knobs on. He has ample knowledge and experience with brushes and pens, paints and glue and they are such an intrinsic extension of him that it feels right to let them do the talking. Nichollas has been listening. And who can escape listening, as nice an idea as that sounds in chaotic times? Very few. Oh, but to turn the volume down – to block it out. Those that close these channels out of choice have other channels with which they take in the stink. Those that do, they see the streets emptying of people and cars. Those that do, they see mouths get muzzled. You have to listen… for instruction. If you can’t listen, then look... and then know.

 

There’s a brand new dance but I don’t know its name...

 

You have to know. You have to know. There is no escape from knowing. Unable to switch off, Nichollas has let rip on a suite of works half-submerged in the white noise of mass media and political shitstormery (with all the fall-out, sarcasm, disgust and bemusement that seemingly must follow); and half taking cues from the paintings of Bosch and other ancients with their heaven and hell scenarios where gobshites and squirrels do that thing they do – not stray far from each other.

 

In two successive years, summer at Three Works brings you epic. If Depio gave you a stately magical realism, Hamper spews forth a gorgeously rendered dog’s dinner of a here and now where everything appears to be tumbling arse over phallus. These nine works are a personal diary of sorts, a record of the last couple of years from 2018 to perhaps the most testing year in living memory – and one that isn’t yet finished.

 

Text by Chris Shaw

August 2020

 

 

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