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Carol Hamman uses humour to question hierarchies in society Article Image

Carol Hamman uses humour to question hierarchies in society

Posted on 11 September 2012

Carol Hamman uses human figurines to relate to her own personal experiences with pregnancy and motherhood (Baby). She often uses satirical and underlying sarcastic and humorous tones (My three pigs: gluttony, stupidity and lack of foresight!) to question the idiosyncrasies in the way society lives.

Hamman was born in Germiston in 1968. Inspired by her father s love for art, she joined Johannesburg School of Art, Ballet, Drama and Music first specialising in music and later in art. She acquired a diploma in ceramics from WITS Technicon where she excelled in Sculpture. Upon completing her diploma, she began a pottery studio in Magaliesburg which soon became a thriving factory in Modderfontein supplying local chain stores.

Carol Hamman

During her career, Hamman turned to iconography and painted numerous icons and two Orthodox Churches fully clad with stylized patterns and iconography. In 2011 she started sculpting in wax and bronze, developing a passion for 3D work. Hamman finds hierarchy and the ridiculous character it brings out in people interesting. This forms a base in her work.

Carol Hamman
Lucky Fish?

Lucky fish? is the last sculptures she began 20 years ago under Eugene Hon at the Technicon. Hamman interprets the work as the workers toiling at the bottom with the strength and dominance that they place in society. She is fascinated by the geometry of Escher and attempted to do the positive and negative fish in the middle class. She explains the fish are all desperately trying to conform to the tight constraints of the corporate world in an attempt to reach the top. The lucky fish is the one that has managed to refine himself into the top position and is able to display more of his true character (thus the more realistic portrayal), but he is still trapped within that system which is why she questions how lucky he actually is.

She is currently working on new works exploring infertility and plans to continue creating humorous sculptures that comment on society. She plans to exhibit her works as much as possible and expand her audience.

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Exploration of the human condition by Maritha van Amerom

Three-dimensional insect sculptures by Retha Buitendach


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