Charlotte Wilson-Hammond, RCA*
In 1971, Charlotte Wilson-Hammond, aged thirty, emerging as a professional artist with work in an avant garde Toronto gallery, forsook her home in Toronto to move with her husband and young family to Clam Harbour on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.
Fifty years later, she is able to look back on a long, exploratory and successful, but not yet ended career as an artist and arts advocate. In 2004 she won the Portia White Award “in recognition of her outstanding artistry, honouring her many contributions to arts and culture, and crossing cultural borders in Nova Scotia and beyond”.
With her latest work ‘In/Visible’, she has in a sense come full circle, examining with insight and honesty her aging body and the landscape she lives in, with the same spirit, if not the same speed, as she did with a younger body when first settling in the rugged beauty of the Eastern Shore.
* The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts is a prestigious honourary organization of over 730 established professional artists and designers from all regions of Canada. With members nominated and elected by their peers, the RCA has, since 1880, come to represent many of Canada’s most distinguished visual artists and designers. There are 23 members in Nova Scotia.
What are you most proud of as an artist?
I have a problem with the concept of ‘proud’. But, in the context of the meaning of that word, it would probably be the fact that I’ve managed to persist with my work over the last 50 years and don’t appear to show many signs of so-called retirement! I don’t think artists ever retire!
Is there an emerging element within your discipline(s) in Nova Scotia that you’re excited about? What is it and why does it excite you?
It seems that there are always emerging elements in the visual arts, and certainly the use of digital technology would be one. Also, most exciting , are the number of truly talented younger artists in all the arts in Nova Scotia.
What was your biggest challenge when creating your nominated work?
It was challenging to try and create something that reflected the idea that often we become invisible to others as we age….and yet with in us there is a core of strength that persists. To do this in a way that would convey that message and not become a cliche was a challenge.
Has your nominated work changed your creative practice? If so, in what way(s)?
Not really, as my creative practice is always changing…to address whatever it is that I am currently concerned with. If anything, this work has opened up new ways of working for me.