The Philosophy of China Hamilton

My work explores a most challenging and difficult area of visual art. The erotic and its sub-sections and divisions, of this massive subject, have always found it a hard battle to be accepted and enjoyed as other aspects of the arts are. It is often only with the distance of historical time that any such work is taken seriously by the establishment. Yet of all the subjects that art can choose it is the nearest to the truth of the joys and fantasies of our true selves and our most precious inner thoughts.

It is always hard to explain the forces and motivations behind the creative work you produce. Simply, for me, it derives from a deep and life time love of women. This is easy to understand in my less forceful and gentle work but when women are portrayed submissively, it is natural to question this statement, to find it more difficult to understand or even contradictory.

Firstly, no one who permits me to photograph them is exhibiting any moment which they are not completely comfortable with.

Indeed they are reflecting their own sexuality and erotic fantasy. Here in lies the essence of what I try to do. I try to be a channel through which my subject can express. When seen as strong and assertive, they reflect their liberation, their contentment with their vision and their sexuality. Such pictures are their portraits, glimpses of that moment. When they choose submission, they are equally, sharing their fantasy, this most common fantasy, with us. Strangely, it is the strongest and most dominant of women who in their own sexuality seek often such imagery and often as an actual, private sexual experience with a partner. It is their right to be as they wish and their right to share such private imaginations if they choose. For them it is beautiful and for me the artist all their forms and facets are equally important, equally beautiful.

My work paints the secret lives of my subjects and gives them voice and freedom through their desire and choice. If the body is stressed, as in some images, it can reveal a dynamic that captures energy, just as our sexuality explores such dynamics from the tender and sensitive to the vigorous and engulfing so the pictures reflect these variations.

Human sexuality is freedom without guilt; to be a consenting adult and to be at ease with the natural forces that drive and shape as long as this is without harm to others. My role is to use what talent I have to aid this process and to give it form and memory. Beauty stems not only from the imagery but from the intention. Fear of the power of our bodies and their sexuality is the root of all guilt and suppression of even simple nudity. We should honor our imaginations as we honor a fine fiction novel. Art in all its creative forms reflects life, the base point of life and art is sexuality, its corruption is guilt and exploitation. An image is innocent. It is only the exploitation of it by distorted minds that interprets such distortion and exploitation.

Everything is the victim of the processes of thought and nothing exists without personal interpretation. We see what we want to see.

The sexual drive is complex and infinite. The erotic is beyond simple pornography for it feeds our mind and not our body. Women are beautiful and what they share with me is equally beautiful. Theirs is the power whatever role they seek, for genuine strength only comes from choice.

If my work touches something then it has succeeded. As each woman is unique so is the task of the creation of a picture. My subjects are my friends and my lovers, theirs is an union with my work, without their positive input there would be no work. It is endless and a constant challenge as each picture is but a fractions of a second of the complexity of life and thought that make the person whole.

I choose mainly monochrome or its alteration by tinting, because it is an abstraction to an extreme of reality, for light and shade alone generate the illusive vision which is but a suggestion to our minds and as intangible as a dream…………….but then erotic sexuality is the sweetest of dreams.

 

China Hamilton. 2004.