If you’re creative, curious and crafty, you could be destined for the artist’s life, like JOSH HAMILTON. He is one young talented young artist to keep an eye out for.

I’m 23 and in my final year at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. I’m studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).

The area I am focusing on at the moment is the logistical underpinnings of art installation and presentation. I have been investigating the commercial gallery ethos as a way to understand and critique the processes involved and to analyse our the relationship we have to art (in particular painting).

I suppose I am a painter, though my painting runs contradictory to the conventional framed and stretched canvases. I like to paint on functional objects such as relay batons and hammers because this critiques our ‘look, don’t touch’ relationship to painting.

I also draw a lot. My drawings are some of my favourite works, I have a lot of fun doing them. As I am interested in motorsport culture like Superbike racing and Speedway etc, my drawings are often of motorbike/car decals, colours and structural designs.

The Fine Arts curriculum at Whitecliffe is really about research in art discourse. It involves a heavy amount of both theoretical and practical investigations into one’s chosen discipline. The research is an effort to position yourself against other thinkers with similar ideas, but to also differentiate yourself in your own unique way.

There are many aspects of the course that I like. I love being in the studio and making work that I never thought I could have done before. I find I am constantly chasing my own understanding of what I am capable of. It makes my time in the studio exciting and full of surprises.


A typical day

A day in the life of a Whitecliffe Fine Arts student consists of “coffee, thinking, emails, meetings, lectures, drawing, painting and a whole lot of thinking,” says Josh. “I like to socialise as much as I can, too. It helps to understand what my peers are up to in their studios.

“It takes a while for me to get into the swing of making things. I tend to be at my studio by about 9-10am and don’t really start getting into school work until about 2pm. I often leave the studio at about midnight.”


A bright future in creation

Josh’s work Truth to Generation was selected as a finalist for this year’s prestigious Wallace Art Award. It was a drawing of a pink tribal dragon on top of a Rob Gardiner artwork. (Gardiner is the founder of the Chartwell collection, which collects for the Auckland Art Gallery, and he has done great things for artists in NZ.

“As an aspiring collector myself, the act of me drawing on top of [Gardiner’s] personal work was to create a conversation about art being treated as ready-made material and and the blurring of the art maker and art collector.”

Josh was also a finalist in the National Contemporary Art Award, for which he entered his Relay Baton.

“The conceptual perimeter for Relay Baton was that during the opening of the event, the work will be passed around the gallery by the viewers. This work is part of a larger investigation into our relationship with painting. By activating the Baton’s function, which is to be held and passed, the audience bypass the preciousness and the ‘look, don’t touch’ attitudes towards painting.



Check out Truth to Generation, Relay Baton and some of Josh’s other work below.