Alex Hamilton’s drawings describe an active process of perception, of interpretation, and imagination.
He explores the space described in a photograph by imagining himself in it – building on top of existing structures, extending or demolishing walls, constructing entirely new screens etc.
For Hamilton, reading words, reading images, and reading space are not distinct activities – they are inextricably (and revealingly) intertwined.
Each drawing series is based on a single black and white photograph, enlarged with a photo copier and printed on heavy water- colour paper.
He normally chooses photographs that, at first, seem to capture inconsequential views of urban landscape: a petrol station, for instance, or a corner of London’s Trafalgar Square.
Hamilton then sets to work, responding to, modifying or obscuring the forms that the photograph describes.
With a wide range of media that includes pen, pencil, pastel, charcoal, gouache and airbrush (although he avoids regular brushes, he says, because ‘there is not enough dysfunction in them’), he augments and amends the photocopied ground.