Media

BettieLamprecht – Beeld

“hamblin’s three black and white video works, narated with poetic text has an impact which is hard to describe. the simplicity of the works are deceptively simple. you forget about the medium. wether it is paintbrush or crayon is of no consequince. what seems to present as simple black and white images one can read that which is unsaid.”

Jacki McInnes – Art Times( Excerpts)

The film combines written text, monochromatic images that fade into and out of sight, and piano music composed by Rocco De Villiers in a carefully conceived synergy that forces both left and right brain assimilation from the viewer.

Father and Grandfather were produced at about the same time and reveal Hamblin’s insights into the lives and family relationships of the two male role-models in his life – a misogynistic grandfather who abused his wife and children, and a father who divorced his mother when Hamblin was eighteen months old in order to live as a gay man.

Father is imbued with a sense of loss and tenderness. Hamblin sought out his father when he was sixteen and enjoyed a close relationship with him until his death ten years later. One has the sense that Hamblin found an ally in his gay father. The words “like a dying man under a woman’s hat” very poignantly express his identification with his father’s sexual choices. Hamblin did mention that their relationship became strained when his father started playing a more “fatherly” role and criticizing Hamblin’s life choices. His father believed that new attitudes towards lesbianism made it possible to be proud and free to be a lesbian. He therefore could not understand nor sanction Hamblin’s desire to become a trans-man.

When I asked Hamblin how he felt about the fact that the curiosity factor and allegations of sensationalism would very likely muddy his artistic intention of portraying the contradictions and confusions related to a personal journey of this nature, he admitted that if his own frankness, and that of his work engaged dialogue about a topic shrouded in secrecy, misunderstanding and hostility, then he would feel that he had achieved something significant. It is ironical in view of this that the strength of the three films, which are unashamedly autobiographical, lies in their ability to transcend the particulars of this specific artist’s life to talk instead of universal conditions and longings. Perhaps it is his strategy of masking the ambiguous in what appears to be the obvious that makes Hamblin’s art at once accessible and yet hauntingly complex.