Words at the Black Swan – Session 14

Date: Sunday 7th June, 14:00 – 15:30
Workshop Leader: Rick Rycroft

Exhibition: Fitzcaraldo – Dan Hampson
23 May – 27 June 2015


Exhibition Information

Artists make metaphors. Dan Hampson brilliantly uses the metaphor of the explorer. This is the artist as explorer, where curiosity, desire, wonder, humility and ego, intrepidly set forth into the dark interior of an unknown continent called human nature. The scenarios he paints are noble, heroic, pathetic and comic, as the artist struggles through jungles and across vast deserts to explore his universe.

But the universe explored is both external and internal, and the metaphors bounce between the two realms to create an absorbing and often amusing story. The title of the exhibition is from the 1980s Herzog film Fitzcarraldo. The hero penetrates the rain forest hauling a boat in order to exploit and trade rubber on an inaccessible river, his aim is noble and crazy for he wants to build an opera house in the jungle. Hampson’s paintings are worked fast and one-hit with energy, joy and risk. Like Fitzcarraldo they balance on an ambitious, punch-drunk, line between success and failure.