Acrylics and screen print on board
45 x 45 cm
A portrait of my Great Grandparents. Depicting the incident when Hamilton shot his wife Evelyn before turning the gun upon himself. The main source of information about the event is the newspaper article below, the event being rather supressed in my grandfathers consciousness, but I did discover films made using Hamilton's 16mm movie camera, depicted in the work. I approached this work using photos of the couple, painting over a screen print of the position and living room where they were found complete with bullet holes in windows and no suicide/murder note in explanation to their three children.
A play with media imagery. The use of enlarged halftone providing the hazy memory of a frame of film potentially shot by Hamilton himself. Ghostly, or perhaps quacky in appearance I depicted Hamilton with crushed sketchy appearance having an irrational or inspired thought as he approaches his wife from behind. Evelyn was a keen amateur dramatist, I'd imagine better suited to her husband directing the camera lens in her direction as opposed to his service revolver.
Hamilton, by portrait artist ......
photo courtesy of my dad.
My Great grandfather was of landed gentry stock. He lived in a fine Stuart Manor house called Urchfont Manor in Wiltshire.
I have visited the place, it has belonged to Wiltshire county council for 60 or so years until it’s sale to a private owner in 2012.
In the 1930’s it was lived in by Hamilton and his wife Evelyn. One of their children, my grandfather, spent his late teens here before leaving home to study.
The story I’d ensembled in my head, from rumour and theatrical embellishment, is that one morning my great grandfather went out into the stable block and shot two of the horses he owned, he then killed the family dog. Not long after, on this murderous rampage, he entered the drawing room and put a bullet through his wife’s head, who was sat playing piano. Hamilton then took his own life, the scene was discovered the next day when the staff returned from an unexpected day’s leave.
"He was depressed because the Nazis were coming and he’d spent the family fortune." - Auntie Jess
The following film is about Urchfont the village and is an editing of three films together, the first two shot by Hamilton in 1936. 'A very sensitive film maker' (Mark Kidel, grandson, film maker ), he shows his interest in agricultural techniques and the men working them and the second film showing what appear intimate portraits of the villagers. There is a sweet old woman spliced from the later film made in the 80’s that introduces the films