We all know the billboards, graffiti and instructional signage in our neighbourhoods but have you ever really stopped to think about what its all telling you about society? Michelle Hamer’s hand-stitched works force us to confront this language of our fears, beliefs & aspirations. Based on her own digital photographs, taken in an instant, these slow works are dark and ironic in how familiar they are. They honour the language of the street while questioning its connection to our psyches and the contemporary edicts.

Hamer is an accidental artist, showing in art museums and critical acclaim was the last thing she expected. After force quitting a career in architecture to deal with chronic health issues she was going out of her mind with only daytime TV to escape the boredom. She began stitching signage from the freeways that apparently spoke to her directly. She began photographing more and more language around her as a way of understanding her own situation and global issues. Her works began to take-off as they took on new meanings from once optimistic bank ads were being re-read with heavy irony in a financial crash.

Hamer’s work literally connects to a moment in time but as the world changes the works take on new meaning as they speak to people in different ways.

Curriculum Vitae

Born Melbourne, Australia

EDUCATION

1999 Bachelor of Architecture, RMIT –1st class honours

AWARDS RECEIVED

2019

  • Finalist Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award
  • Finalist Ravenswood Women's Art Prize
  • Finalist Wyndham Art Prize

2018

  • Residency Millay Colony for the Arts, New York, USA

2017

  • Australia Council – Exhibition

2016

  • Australia Council – Creation (new works)

2015

  • Winner – Architecture in Tapestry Prize, Aust. Tapestry Workshop (w.KGA Architecture)
  • Finalist Darebin Art Prize
  • Finalist Whyalla Art Prize
  • Finalist Banyule Art Prize
  • Finalist Hobart Art Prize
  • Finalist Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award
  • Australia Council – Skills & Development (international boundary territories)
  • Residency – Fintona Girls’ School, Melbourne

2014

  • Australia Council – Exhibition
  • Residency - Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne

2013

  • Finalist Times Square Transformation, public art barriers, NY, NY, USA
  • Finalist Gold Coast Art Prize, Gold Coast, Queensland
  • Finalist Fishersghost Art Award, Campbelltown, NSW
  • Finalist Hobart Art Prize, Hobart, Tasmania
  • Finalist Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Caloundra. Queensland

2012

  • Finalist Gold Coast Art Prize, Gold Coast, Queensland
  • Finalist Hobart Art Prize, Hobart, Tasmania
  • Finalist Alice Art Prize, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

2011

  • Finalist Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Caloundra. Queensland
  • Australia Council – Skills & Development (USA)

2010

  • City of Melbourne – Presentation – 2011
  • Finalist Reservoir Neighbourhood House – Public Art

2009

  • Darebin LaTrobe Art Prize - Finalist

2008

  • City of Melbourne – Presentation – New Works
  • Toyota Community Spirit Encouragement Award
  • Arts Victoria - Creation – New Works
  • City of Melbourne – 2009 Exhibition at Fortyfivedownstairs
  • Finalist New Social Commentary Art Prize, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Victoria
  • Finalist Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Caloundra. Queensland
  • Finalist Alice Prize Exhibition, Alice Springs. Northern Territory

2007

  • Finalist for Round 2 of RIPE Art & Australia /ANZ Private Bank Cont. Art Award

2006

  • Australia Council - Emerging Artist –New Works
SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020

  • Are You Having a Good Night?, Fremantle Arts Centre, WA (upcoming July)
  • Stockroom Gallery, Kyneton (upcoming June)

2018

  • I am Part of a LIVING City, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW (Survey Show)

2017

  • One Wall Two Jails, NSW Institute of Architects

2016

  • There are no words, SwanHill Regional Art Gallery
  • There are no words, The Lost Ones Gallery, Ballarat
  • You are my past, I am your future, Nicholas Projects, Melbourne

2015

  • There are no words, Ararat Regional Art Gallery
  • This is what it isn’t meant to be, Fehily Contemporary

2014

  • Cultural Threads, City of Greater Dandenong, Australia (w. Cat Wilson)
  • I’ll show you the way, Galleria Vicino, Sydney

2013

  • Preview, Fehily Contemporary
  • I send mixed messages, Counihan Gallery

2011

  • Dangling Carrots, Craft Victoria, Melbourne [projections by Cat Wilson]

2010

  • Hillard St – House installation together with Studiobird

2009

  • Warning if you are reading this, this warning is for you, Centre for Contemporary Art South Australia, Adelaide
  • Tramspotting, Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne [sound – Melanie Chilianis]

2008

  • Warning if you are reading this, this warning is for you, Kings ARI, Melbourne
  • Tracking the Storm, The Untitled Gallery, Melbourne
  • Recent Works, Ochre Gallery, Melbourne

2007

  • I Get Good Advice from the Advertising World’, SIAL exhibition space, RMIT University, Melbourne (sound –Josh Abrahams)
  • I Get Good Advice from the Advertising World’, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne (sound collaboration –Josh Abrahams)

2006

  • The Young & the Restless, Craft Victoria, Melbourne

2005

  • Life in the Fast Lane, Platform2 Artists Group, Melbourne


GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020

  • Craftivism: Dissident Objects & Subversive Forms - Bega Valley Regional Gallery; Warwick Art Gallery; Sunshine Coast Art Gallery (upcoming)

2019

  • Craftivism: Dissident Objects & Subversive Forms - Warrnambool Art Gallery; Mornington Peninsula Gallery; Museum of Democracy, Ballarat.

2018

  • Craftivism: Dissident Objects & Subversive Forms- Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria
  • Analogue Art in a Digital World, Sam Leach & Tony Lloyd, RMIT Gallery
  • This Wild Song Exhibition, TownHall Gallery, Melbourne
  • Claiming Needles, Peer to Space (online)
  • Herbaceous Borders, curated by Kate Mizrahi, NKN Gallery, Melbourne
  • This Wild Song Exhibition, Australian High Commission, Singapore

2017

  • Media Hype, C3 Gallery, Melbourne (curator- Juliette Hansen)

2016

  • The Ordinary Instant, Bayside Art Gallery
  • NOW 16, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne

2015

  • Fertile Ground, Australian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
  • NOW, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne

2014

  • Recent Acquisitions, Ararat Regional Gallery, Victoria
  • Aesop, Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria (Melb Art Fair installation)
  • Art14, London Contemporary Artfair, UK

2013

  • Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Victoria, Australia
  • Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks, Fehily Contemporary
  • Push/Pull, Artisan, Brisbane
  • Home: Reframing craft and domesticity, Hatch Contemporary Arts Space, Victoria

2012

  • Anti-Hate – Human Rights Week couch project, Multicultural Arts Vic & Signal
  • Times Square Billboard, cnr 43rd & Broadway NY, NY. USA
  • Suburbia, Wyndham Art Gallery, Werribee, Victoria
  • Solastalgia, Object Gallery, Sydney & Lake Macquarie Regional Gallery(on behalf of Object Gallery, Sydney, NSW)

2011

  • Boundary Lines, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville. Victoria
  • 20 in 11, Woodward Gallery, NY, NY
  • You are here, Stockroom, Kyenton, Victoria

2011-2013

  • Sensorial Loop:Tamworth Textile Triennial, Tamworth Regional Gallery.
  • Traveling to RMIT Gallery, Goulbourn Regional Gallery, Manning Regional Art Gallery, Albury Regional Gallery, Broken Hill Regional Gallery, Stanthorp Regional Gallery, Manly Regional Art Gallery

2010

  • Crafty, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW (Cash Brown - curator)
  • Show us your politics! Kudos Gallery, COFA, NSW
  • Linden Postcard Show, Linden Gallery
  • Days of our Lives, BUS Gallery, Melbourne [Melanie Chilianis sound exh]

2009

  • Fifteen – Charity auction & calendar, Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne
  • A2Z Textihibition, Kaleide Theatre, RMIT, Melbourne
  • 2008Landscape, Flinders Street Gallery, Surry Hills, Sydney. NSW
  • Alice Prize Exhibition, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  • Toyota Community Spirit –emerging artist exhibition, Port Melbourne

2007

  • Echo: Sounding out contemporary photography, Deloitte Consulting, Melbourne (Naomi Cass & Rebecca Chew (Centre for Contemporary Photography) -curator)
  • Lenko Art Show, Carlton Hotel, Bourke St, Melbourne
  • 30 x 30, Brunswick Street Art Gallery, Melbourne
  • Posted, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Melbourne (Louise Harper -curator) [to travel to London and New York]
  • Off the Wall –ART Melbourne 2007, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
  • Side Stitch, Melbourne Fashion Festival Exhibition, Blindside Gallery, Nicholas Building, Flinders Lane, Melbourne. (Olivia Poloni –curator)
  • Urban Fabric: Greige, Melbourne Fashion Festival Exhibition, West Space, Anthony Street, Melbourne. (Peta Carlin –curator)

2006

  • Le Grand Voyage soirée, Independent Accessory Designer Event, Gallery M, Sth. Melbourne
  • Motor Show Mk2, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Melbourne (Fringe Festival) (Jason Waterhouse –curator)
  • The Tea Party, Independent Accessory Designer Exhibition, Gallery M, South Melb

1999

  • RMIT Major Project Exhibition, Span Gallery, Melbourne
COLLECTIONS
  • National Gallery of Victoria; Artbank, Australia; City of Melbourne; Ararat Regional Gallery, Victoria
  • Private collections: Melbourne, Brisbane, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Beijing, London, The Netherlands, Norway