self-portrait, 2014, Anish Kapoor, (untitiled) 2008
Nathalie Hambro is an artist/curator and author. Hambro is a former contributing editor to British Vogue and Elle Decoration; and worked regularly with the Sunday Times Magazine. Over five consecutive years she participated to Sothebys‘s Contemporary Decorative Arts, a selling exhibition, showcasing her jewellery. Her designs, (handbags and clothes), are housed in the permanent collections of the V&A museum, London, and FIT Museum, New York. Hambro’s self-published My London, was launched at Frieze Art Fair 2006, a book about the city and people. Recently she had an exhibition of her work: TOOLS, (sculptures and photography), as well as launching her own artist’s book Sin-Unseen at the Venice Biennale 2013. Her first cookery book Particular Delights won the prestigious Glenfiddich Award, and had several reprints, the last one in 2013 as a hardback. The book was listed on A Book for Cooks: 101 Classic Cookbooks as one of the best cookery books ever written.She worked as an independent curator and art advisor for auction house Phillips, as well as for private clients. All the while, Hambro has been producing her online cultish Art Diary, and written for the FT’s HTSI: Diary of a Somebody*. In 2014 Hambro was commissioned to create monumental sculptures for the Chelsea Flower Show, and later that year launched her second artist book, Up & Down in the Art World, available from Louis Vuitton art bookshop in London.
* Hambro’s DIARY OF A SOMEBODY in the FINANCIAL TIMES HTSI, (July/August, 2013, 2014), has topped all viewings as “most popular”
ON THE WEB
Amazon: Particular Delights, cooking for all the senses (2013 reprint)
TOOLS exhibition at Annoushka (video)
BARNEYS – NEW YORK “by Walid” (video by nathalie hambro)
/Victoria – Land Securities (video)
Vimeo (videos by nathalie hambro)
Nathalie Hambro organises debate: Photography will always be a lesser media than Paint (Phillips auction house in collaboration with Intelligence Square)
read on ART DIARY #253
read above: ON THE WEB
ROY G. BIV’S WALL
The glass work is a conceptual one, hence its title: ROY G. BIV’S WALL, using the first letter of each colour of the rainbow, (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). Each glass brick has a different colour entrapped within, the glass spheres seem distorted and merging through the bricks. The work conveys glass’s inner quality: transparency and solidity, and the overall effect mimics colours reflected on water, the whole references to Venice… The number seven is not accidental as, besides the number of colours in the rainbow, it is also a key reference in religion and mathematics.
The exhibition is scheduled at the Misericordia in Venice, 2013.
limited edition of 50
Sin-Unseen is a collection of polaroids: the book opens with a combination lock and slips into a reflective fabric pouch. Each has its own hand-dyed, embroidered ‘manipulative’ gloves. To view layers of wrapping are unfold, emphasising an anticipation ritual. All the images have a deep relationship with intimate moments of Hambro’s life expressed through visual fragments, elliptical metaphors, and abstract surfaces
SIN-UNSEEN – THE PROCESS
Each work represents a hand-cut collage depicting an urban scene that translates the image into a graphic abstraction. Each in the series is contained within a hand-made aluminium casing with stainless steel handle held by a ball bearing. The series is displayed as an installation on steel ladder.
Subsequent prints of the collages, two sizes, each edition of 3 + 2 AP
A series of boxes, containing a single, cut and folded photo, each box made of coloured Perspex, contained within a stainless steel cross and stems, secured with locking nuts. Inspired by 18th century rolled paper pictures.
.Hambro’s re-processed photos are devoid of their narrative to become abstract patterns.
WATER 2, 2012
WATER – FEET, 2012
WILLUMS ART FOUNDATION PROJECT
Arriving at the residency in Southern France with only the outline of a concept in mind, Hambro brought several cameras and videos recorders, none technically sophisticated whatsoever. She decided for a site-specific project, despite her proclivity for urban subjects.
Although the artist was set in rural/natural surrounding, inspiration was triggered by the industrial traces on the land, (signs, symbols, markings, found objects), and when capturing the environment, (a source for inspiration for Cezanne and the Impressionists), she translated it into abstractions.
As an obsessive walker, Hambro opted for a peripatetic journey with, as a starting point, the residency. Daily walks were mostly off-piste, exploring a hilly and mountainous landscape, (Montagne Ste Victoire and Mont Aurelien flanked either side of the property). When on flatter grounds, she would be treading on bauxite soil, across miles of vineyards. The first part of her daily trip was along the desolated canal du Midi punctuated by an iron bridge every kilometre.
As a system to structure her walks, Hambro decided to follow Fibonacci’s mathematic formula whereby, starting with “0”, (the house), the sequence carries on with “1”, then continues with each succeeding number the sum of the two numbers immediately preceding, (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, ad infinitum). Taking into account the distance she would plan her walks translating the numbers into kilometres. Every morning, placing a compass on a map, the artist would plan a distance for the day and produce a visual report of the journey.
LOVE YOU TO BITS installation
The work is an ironic comment on the mentally crippling effect of emotional passion.
Made of steel panels, circular saws, shears, cutters, chains and cast body parts.
UNTITLED (Y) series
The pubicum images are taken from museum’s sculptures. The subject translates into abstract shapes.
Mounted on heavy aluminium and domed nuts.
RAVAGE OF FIRE series
Images taken just after a fire occurred in an interior. Furniture, fixtures and flooring’s burned surface took on a shimmering, mysterious quality. On the walls the fire left oxidation-like, textured imprints which were mesmerising beautiful, despise the tragic circumstances, I was drawn into the inherent beauty of decay and destruction.
Hambro’s fascination for the city embraces ecological concerns. Her investigation into reprocessing and recycling took her to the most advance plant in the world which happens to be in East London. She found the compressed trash blocks aesthetically beautiful abstract forms, yet conflictual , confronting us with our urban consumerism and waste.