“Stephen Hamilton’s rich cosmology of African religious and cultural symbols, archetypes, and aesthetic traditions animate a complex practice that involves weaving, exquisitely colored and patterned cloth made with natural dyes, and richly descriptive figurative painting. Creating imagery that fuses African and African American iconography with depictions of figures from his creative community, Hamilton’s hybrid artworks offer lush, layered meditations on how traditions can carry forward, live, and grow in the present.” – Juror Daniel Byers
Stephen Hamilton is a mixed-media artist, researcher, and arts educator living and working in Boston, Massachusetts. He is currently a Second Year Ph.D. Student in Harvard’s AAAS (African And African American Studies) Department. His research focuses on the indigenous textile industries of southern Nigeria. Hamilton has been an exhibiting artist for the past ten years.
Hamilton identifies simultaneously as an artist, educator, and researcher. His work incorporates both Western and African techniques, blending figurative painting and drawing with resist-dyeing, weaving, and woodcarving. Each image is a marriage between the aesthetic perspectives and artistry of both traditions. As a Black American trained in traditional West African art forms, Hamilton treats weaving, dyeing, and woodcarving as ritualized acts of reclamation.