For many years children were at the forefront of Deborah Hamon’s work starting when she first began thinking about becoming a mother in the early 2000’s. From imaginary girls to realistic portraits she used painting and photography and a combination of the two, to explore ideas about identity development, often using the landscape as metaphor in her photographs. This focus on children combined with her deep love of nature led her to create The Polar Pom-Pom Project, to connect children with art and the Arctic to make a series of work about climate change. She was part of The Arctic Circle residency in 2013, where she boarded a tall ship and voyaged into the High Arctic with a small group of international artists and educators, while pursuing this project.

Hamon is currently focused on making paintings using a looser more abstract approach inspired by nature and the photographs she takes. Her interest lies in trying to find the right balance between looseness and control, flatness and dimension, abstraction and representation, different brush strokes and surface qualities, complexity and simplicity, and quirkiness and beauty.

Hamon’s creative pursuits also include writing. She has written a graphic novel geared towards an 8- to12-year-old girl audience, which she is slowly working on illustrating. Additionally, she has ventured into writing poetry with the idea of eventually combining her photographs and poems together into a book. When she is not in her studio you can typically find her running or hiking the local trails, contemplating her next travel adventure while eating dark chocolate, as well as being the mother of a teenage daughter.

Hamon was born in 1968 in Australia to a Guernsey-born father and a Mississippi-born mother. This eclectic mix perhaps instilled a love of travel in her from an early age. Hamon left Australia to attend university in California, receiving her BFA in 1990. She had her own graphic design business for 8 years in San Francisco before returning to graduate school to pursue fine art, receiving her MFA from the University of California, Davis in 2002, where she also had the opportunity to be Wayne Thiebaud’s teaching assistant. Hamon currently lives and works in Marin county in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hamon has shown her work at numerous museums and galleries nationally and internationally, including Frozen Earth: Images from the Arctic Circle, at The Noyes Museum of Art in New Jersey. Her work has been published widely including Photo District News and New American Paintings. She has won many awards including a West Prize Acquisitions Award and was selected as one of Photo District News’ choice of New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. One of her photographs was on view in Tel Aviv, Israel for 5 years as part of the Art in Embassies program. Her work can be found in numerous collections including the Crocker Art Museum and West Collection.

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