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Artist Returns to clear demons of horrific night

Press Release

Wellington Artist Returns to clear demons of horrific night.

The headlines read “Highway Carnage Stretches Ambulances”, July 1986. On the Foxton Straights at around 9:30 pm three young friends were travelling north in their car and collided with a milk truck, “a rear seat passenger aged 20, believed to be a Wellington student, died in the Telstar vehicle. The car driver and a front seat passenger were admitted to the city’s hospital with severe injuries. No names were available.”

Hamish Williamson is one of those names, lucky to survive, waking from unconsciousness to face the reality of that night. A dead friend, tracheotomy, skull surgery and epilepsy for life. He would never look the same, would never be the same again.

“For a long time I was incredibly angry….the art over the years has rescued me from self- destruction it has given me the chance to express those emotions that I had no words for, a language I could speak. I am ready to put those ghosts to rest.”

Twenty years on Hamish returns to the place of his suburban childhood with a series of paintings called ‘Owls Do Cry’, paintings of Moreporks in the New Zealand landscape.

He carries an air of acceptance and a confidence that comes from knowing you have the strength to return from the edge. The paintings are a significant personal landmark they will stir the suburban hero in all of us.

Exhibition Opens Monday April 10, 6:30 – 8pm Upstairs Gallery, 69 Keneperu Drive, Porirua, ph Upstairs Gallery 04 237 6865

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