Jo Hamilton and her portrait of Arthur Cheesman
photo by Jenny Stapleton
Trained at The Glasgow School of Art, Portland-based artist Jo Hamilton crochets wonderful larger-than-life fine art portraits in yarn. She recently documented her most recent work, the portrait of Arthur Cheesman, from start to finish in a fascinating stop-motion video. An image gallery of all of her crocheted portraits is available to view at her website.
…In my work I use a traditional basic crochet technique taught to me at an early age by my Gran. I work one knot at a time, from the inside out, row by row. I always begin my crochet portraits in the middle with the eyes and work out from there until the piece is completed. I work directly from photographs, using no sketches, graphs or computer imaging. Each piece is handmade, labour-intensive, instinctively composed. Nothing is planned ahead; I make it up as I go along. I spend a lot of time simply looking, unraveling, and reworking until I get it right. To make this video I photographed the work after each new yarn colour or two was added, and edited the photos into a sequence. This 30 second sequence contains over 300 photos of the work in progress. The portrait is of my dear friend Arthur Cheesman, who is sadly no longer with us.
Arthur Cheesman, 2012
Reclining Shine, work in progress
Self Portrait, 2009
John Hoke, 2010
Joe Cotter and the original Outside In Mural, 2011