Lorraine Hamilton (she/her)
Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪˌkɔːr/) is the smell of rain. In Ancient Greek πέτρα (pétra) ‘rock’, or πέτρος (pétros) ‘stone’, and ἰχώρ (ikhṓr), the ethereal fluid that is the blood of the gods, a golden liquor of immortality, toxic to humans.
This final work in the Mlitt Graduate show, Stone Blood of the Gods, explores ideas of longevity and life beyond life, which, through the lens of personal experiences, has led to overlapping themes in religion and myth. How does it change your experience to acknowledge that all things are finite? Although our experiences of time may be very different, everything from stone to ice must have an end. There are many processes at work in the installation: scented water drips onto sugar, which dissolves into cloth stained with cyanotype, which in turn changes with exposure to light and the sugar water. These subtle transformations are set in motion but are ultimately out of anyone’s control.
At its heart, my work is sculptural and explores the relationship between neurodivergence and its impact on sensory experience, and uses making to highlight the intricacies of personal histories and connections in their many forms. I enjoy looking at the contradictory feelings surrounding connection, the difficulty of expressing deep emotion, and the fundamental need we all have to share. The materials I choose to work with are often very tactile and they are carefully selected for their sensory qualities. These types of materials have been a foundation and a common motif throughout many works. I especially enjoy working with mediums that have an inherent process that can be activated by artist or viewer into a state of flux, allowing the artwork to perform and reveal itself in a unique way.
Stone Blood of the Gods
Cotton hangs from ceiling to floor, stained with unfixed cyanotype it continually changes as it sits in the sunlight. Blooms of salt grow and shrink with the humid air. Sugar and bicarbonate objects sit on top of these chemical reactions, solid and steady as they stare upwards into the eye of a latex bag. Held in a steel grasp high above, filled to burst with petrichor scented water.
Slow and steady, through the eye of a pin prick the water drips
These sugar and bicarbonate bodies fizz and dissolve. Melting into the fabric. Changing it, changing themselves.
Stone Blood of the Gods pt 2
Scrying is the practice of looking into a reflective surface to gain understanding. One description of Scrying is that it is not about seeing what’s in your future, but rather what is in your periphery. It is a chance to know yourself better.
This work is the result of spending time with materials, allowing yourself to be guided by process, and trusting that meaning will reveal itself in time.
This piece is a representation of learning. Gold water swirls in endless storm clouds, the constant motion mimicking constant swirling thought. It is both relentless and quietly contemplative.
The bowl gives off waves of scent, petrichor. The smell of water, of damp earth. A signifier of change and transformation.
A black jelly body slumps over in a tall wooden chair, swaddled in a latex blanket. A pulse, just barely felt, signifies life.
There are no explicit invitations for viewers to touch. Rather, the desire to touch may be impossible to resist for some people. This lack of impulse control would be rewarded by the jelly body giving way to your touch, while also buzzing back against it.
Whether the vibration from fear, excitement or something else is for you to decide.
Cyan / Salt
A series of three drawings, made with the same processes used to treat the fabric in Stone Blood of the Gods.
These are works on paper, with cyanotype, salt, glue, and ink, framed in steel. They are unfixed, and in constant contact with their environment, because of this, they are slowly changing as they age.
The way the drawings change with time and exposure to their environment is an essential element of their meaning. The cyanotype becomes a richer blue as it draws in more and more light, the glue darkens, the salt blooms and regrows in new patterns, the steel rusts. Rather than resisting change and decay, as is traditional in fine art, it is embraced.
Death Isn’t Real Anyway
Many of these works share personal histories and experiences through abstract materials. This book was an opportunity to directly include my own voice.
It is a reflection on the complex emotions around loss and grieving that we all share, and the unique experience I personally had of growing up in an evangelically Christian household. What this meant to me as a child, and how it’s shaped my worldview as a nonbelieving adult.
The themes of life, death, rebirth, and life beyond life are consistently present in all my works, but never more explicitly than here.