Yvette Hamilton: artist-in-residence July 2014

Yvette Hamilton, Writing, reading and contemplating place, 2014

As an artist my work is centered around an exploration of place and being. Thinking, writing and making work about place in such a place as North Arm Cove gave unexpected and very interesting insights.

Yvette Hamilton, Outlook Drive, 2014

North Arm Cove was, in the past, going to be the site of ‘Port Stephens City’, a potential site for the Nation’s Capital. The land was subdivided up in 1918, with grand plans of major development. Look up North Arm Cove on Google Maps today and you’ll see a bird’s eye view of what looks to be a well-planned bustling town. Street names such as City Crescent, Outlook Drive and Harper Loop are not immaculately kept thoroughfares as they appear online, but rather bushy fire trails, where the bustling comes via the hordes of wallabies rather than people and traffic.

 Yvette Hamilton, The bustling intersection of Crest Road and Outlook Drive, 2014

The marks made upon the land are being slowly etched away, as evidenced in the blank street sign above. The effect is at once unsettling and peaceful, like a cross between a post apocalyptic landscape that nature has reclaimed, to a place at the verge of something.

Yvette Hamilton, Afternoon explorations, 2014
The residency at Gunyah is something of a rarity, with many residency opportunities as a parent to a young child, are either impossible or impractical. The opportunity to combine work with family was a very positive experience, and almost surprisingly productive. I made good use of the downstairs studio space to create a line between ‘holiday house’ and ‘work space’, and I think that the collective energies of the artists who had used the space before me helped to focus my attention. The days soon fell into a rhythm – up early to work, a pleasure when the view out your ‘work window’ is of bush and water, and then late afternoon walks to explore, and play at the water’s edge. The main interruptions of the day were the almost constant streams of wallabies (or wobblies as my son called them) hopping past the windows. What I imagine was always a truly special place to the families and friends that built it, Gunyah is now enriched by the creative people that inhabit it during the winter months. I feel blessed to have been one of them.
Yvette  Hamilton, July 2014
Yvette Hamilton, Gunyah studio, 2014

To see more of Yvette's work go to her website www.yvettehamilton.com and you can read her residency proposal here