Anthea Hamilton’s interdisciplinary interest in performance is evident in her sculptural assemblages and installations whose tableau-like quality makes them reminiscent of stage sceneries or film sets, and which she has referred to as ‘performative spaces’. Her sculptures, idiosyncratic constructions precariously balanced between emergence and collapse, function like props for stories that remain to be told.
Hamilton’s work is rooted in wide-ranging research, on the one hand, whether she explores strands in cultural history such as the roots of 1970s disco, art-historical references like Art Nouveau, radical Italian design or Japanese kabuki theatre, documentary photography or lichen. Each subject is studied closely and used as a lens through which to understand the world. She is equally interested in the qualities of a space, which she responds to with site- specific installations, and dedicates great attention to both the making and presentation of meticulously crafted objects. When she creates physical, larger than life realisations of images that she has collected – of a drawing by Robert Crumb, for example, or of a model for a door by Italian designer and architect Gaetano Pesce – she addresses the issue of how we perceive the world around us, both in terms of visual language and space, as well as in terms of the spectacle.