The power of human sensibility and imagination is aptly demonstrated through the following interview between Ben Hammond and Lucky Compiler. This is an excerpt:
Ben Hammond’s interest in artistic pursuits did commence early in his life. Born in 1977, Ben spent early childhood in Pingree, Idaho. He graduated with a degree in illustration from Ricks College. However, it is his fondness of creating sculptural pieces that became evident with every passing day. He won both reputation and accolades through his sculptural work. The lost art of creating reliefs has also received a revival through his work. His efforts in this regard gained recognition and he was awarded the Dexter Jones Award for bas–relief from The National Sculpture Society, 2008 – 2010. He is also the recipient of Charlotte Geffken Prize, Brookgreen Gardens, 2010.
Ben Hammond’s work is not only an elaboration of human forms through sculpture but rather a vessel for storing and expressing the deepest thoughts that lurk within. The bronze models seem to expose their throbbing crimson heart to the audience to behold; they even grant a share of emotions to the audience for their beauty is forever imprinted in the mind’s eye of the viewers.
Take us through your childhood and how experiences therein moulded the artist and human being in you.
I was raised in a very rural community in Southeast Idaho. My father and grandfather had a construction company and my brothers and I worked from a very early age for the company. We learned to work very hard and to take great pride in our hard work.
Family was very important and church was very important. I had three brothers and three sisters and we had to learn how to get along with each other. My mother was a musician and she put great emphasis on us learning to play piano and sing. Most of us had natural artistic abilities, in fact I wasn’t the most talented of my siblings, but I definitely kept at it more than anyone else in the family.
My parents were always very supportive of me pursuing art. When they saw me dedicate more and more time to drawing, they encouraged me to try other mediums. My mother helped me set up a little oil–painting studio in my grandmother’s basement, and also bought me modelling clay to work with. No matter what medium I attempted the subject matter always ended up being the same – people, especially faces.
As you explore the allegory of nature (summer, autumn, winter and spring) what insight do you gain about changing colours of time?
I love living where we experience the change of seasons, where change comes as matter of temperature and precipitation – a literal physical change, as opposed to just changing dates on a calendar. Change in our lives is inevitable, so we can either embrace it and find beauty in it, or dread it.
Image Courtesy: The Artist