“I was remaking film extracts of well-known Hollywood movies,” Anthea Hamilton says, “and these pieces, such as The Piano Lesson, started life as props. I wanted to make my own narratives, and the objects had a successful enough sense of movement or animation in themselves to render the need to make the film unnecessary. They suggest sets and characters, the cinematic or theatrical and are always composed to be seen from the front just as you would see a stage set. My work hints at particular eras, it’s not old-fashioned, but not contemporary either; they’re in their own time. This piece was particularly inspired by Fernand Leger’s 1921 painting Le Grand Déjeuner, the large feminine wavy form is taken directly from the shape of the women’s hair. Borrowing from an artist’s palette offers a method for a rich, chromatic display. I was looking at bas-reliefs, architecture or ancient Egyptian cartouche characters and hieroglyphics: they look like pictures, but are conveying specific information.”

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