This is the second to last week of highlighting artists from our latest show, Engaging Women.
Kathleen Hammett was born in Steubenville, Ohio and grew up on a small family farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. She attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Hammett began her professional career as a fabric designer for Carlton Woolen Mills in New York City in 1967. She spent a year in Halifax Nova Scotia working at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before moving to Cleveland where she was an art teacher for the Cleveland Public Schools and later the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. She shared a studio for over 20 years with her brother and fellow artist, Patrick Kelly.
Last summer Kathleen Hammett took the off ramp from her usual practice of painting, and after many years of working with oil on canvas, she hit the “refresh button”. Hammett took a vacation to the Grand Canyon and loved it. She bought a piano and learned the blues scale. Finally, Kathleen Hammett began a series of charcoal drawings.
Charcoal is widely used to create landscape, figurative and still life drawings. When viewing representational charcoal drawings, Hammett always finds herself looking at them with an eye for the abstract, blocks of tone, contrasting black and white forms, empty and negative space. She is less interested in the subject matter.
These drawings are pure abstraction containing geometric forms absent of representational content. The geometric shapes drift through space, bending, folding and flattening. The shapes exist somewhere between plane and emptiness. The ascending shapes in “Blue Suede Shoes” feels like the ascending notes in the blues scale. In “Tumble Down” they evoke the sensation of falling through open space; and, in “Sarah’s Kitchen” Hammett was inspired by photos her daughter sent to her while remodeling her kitchen.
These charcoal pieces are the result of traveling, playing the piano and drawing. They have been an essential part of Hammett’s creative soul from this past summer. They represent a collective experience.
See Kathleen Hammett’s work in our current show, Engaging Women at The Bonfoey Galley, 1710 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. For more information, visit our website. For questions, call (216) 621-0178 or send us an email.