Michael Hames has produced a
remarkably diverse collection of works including sculpture, illustrations,
landscapes, still life, nudes and portraits in his career. As a painter,
sculptor and teacher, Michael has excelled in his artistic expression.
Michael was born in Ontario in 1952 and spent his childhood in western Canada. He became interested in art early in life and while attending art school, he ran an art centre on Saddle Lake Indian Reservation in Alberta.
Making early note of his talent, Michael was awarded the Elizabeth T. Greenshields Memorial Foundation Grant upon graduating from the Alberta College of Art in 1975.
In the late 1970's, Michael taught drawing through Selkirk College and spent many seasons as a tower man on the fire lookouts in the mountains of western Alberta. Michael has worked as a freelance illustrator since moving to the coast in 1985 and has twice exhibited at the National Museum of Canada. His work hangs in private collections around the world.
Frequent pilgrimages to the foothills of south western Alberta continue to be an inspiration for many of his landscapes. Michael's figurative work has a timeless, haunting quality. Also an accomplished sculptor, his sculpture is typically bronze and original, although he has two limited edition bronze castings depicting a raven and a hawk.
Natural environments can be intimidating in their emptiness giving them an ability to provoke emotions uncommon to everyday experience. I believe the "Big Empty" inspires an awareness of the absurdity of a personal genealogy or historical reference in the face of such an obvious and overwhelming lack of momentum to the passage of time.
A basis of the creative process is for me a sincerity of intent- the intention being simply to adhere to the ethic of creative development. To rely on a single technical skill is to follow a recipe of recognizable style and is a declaration of creative limitation or a submission to fiscal responsibilities. The manipulation of unfamiliar materials introduces technical challenges in the form of accidents, opening doors to fresh approaches to increasingly old subjects.
If I have a recognizable style, I would hope that it exists as a communication of emotional or intellectual response. I have no desire to be bored….or boring.
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