River Bed - 2017
Inspired by Millais’ famous painting of Ophelia, and the tessellated mudcracks observed in dried up rivers and lakes all over the world, Hamish takes us on a narrative journey through time to his River Bed. Cast in jesmonite, from a mould taken from his original mud composition, Hamish gives us a contemporary take on the fate of Ophelia, creating something beautiful from the story's tragic origins.
“…long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.” (Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii)
Hamish’s reimagining of Ophelia’s story offers hope. The ghostly outline of her body is preserved in the river bed, delineated by the natural process of mudcracks over time. Her presence is still felt. As observers we are invited to compare the transience of life with the permanence of art. To add to its poignancy, this wall hanging is exactly the same size as Millais’ canvas.
Supplied with hanging brackets, River Bed would make a bold and thought-provoking focal point in any interior and a considerate gift for collectors of contemporary art.
THIS SCULPTURE IN THE MAKING
2 years ago, a neighbouring farmer’s pond dried up. I was fascinated by the cracks and fissures that appeared in the mud at the bottom. I thought of this again when I saw La Jeune Martyre by Paul Delaroche in Paris, which inevitably reminded me of Millais’ Ophelia. I wanted to construct a narrative history that brought all these inspirations together at a point further on in time. The result is River Bed.