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Image: Amanda Chalmer and Ward 2A participants, ‘Untitled‘ (detail), 2023, mixed media. Image courtesy the artist

Shape of me 

Amanda Chalmer
Artist in Residence

Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre

31 January – 14 May 2024

Project Statement: 

The project at Hampstead provided participants with a creative outlet and the opportunity to experiment with methods to apply paint using sponges and rollers. Working on ‘jigsaw’ shapes allowed each individual to contribute to the project as part of this collaborative process. Key arterial roads were masked out prior to the paint application to add visual interest. Techniques including marbling and stenciling were introduced and integrated into the final mural. There is a use of dominant symbols throughout the work including hearts, butterflies, feathers and key words that reflect our shared human condition. The feather symbol alluded to notions of trust, strength, and honour. In Christianity the feather is associated with the presence of angels and the three virtues of faith, hope and charity. I felt this was relevant to recognise and acknowledge the support and care provided by health care workers. A small canvas with the word ‘WOW’ also featured, as this was the word that would often be heard when participants peeled back the stencils to reveal the outcome of their efforts. The text used, quotes participants’ response to their involvement in the project. Also on display were a few works produced by individual participants that demonstrated the acquisition and development of skills. 

Artist in residence Statement/Bio:  

Amanda is an experienced visual arts educator having predominantly taught in secondary schools delivering all areas of the visual arts curriculum. She has held numerous positions of leadership and was Chief Moderator of Visual Arts and Craft at the SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) Board. (1999-2003) She has also worked with adults and coordinated numerous community arts projects. 

In 2020, Amanda commenced delivering night classes and holiday programs to adults and younger children at a clay studio in Adelaide where the focus was on the therapeutic benefits of working with this versatile medium. She has always been a strong proponent of art therapy and the benefits became more personally relevant in her own arts practice as a recovering cancer patient.  

Amanda has maintained her arts practice throughout her extensive career and exhibited regularly. She has experience using a diverse range of media with her current focus being clay and hand-built ceramics. Amanda now works from her home studio where she offers a range of classes and continues to build the profile of her business Whimsy Arts.