Master of light, horizons and colour
Rodney Hamel’s paintings are the product of a lifelong dedication to painting that started in the Waikato. While Rod now paints from Dunedin - there is one significant local landmark that holds a special place in his heart.
Rod lived near his beloved Maungakawa Hill for many years, often taking drives up to the Gudex Memorial with friends to show them the spectacular view, creating Ceasar Salads according to Julia Child’s original recipe at a convenient picnic table and investigating the few remaining buildings associated with the TB Sanitorium.
In the early 80s a friend took some black and white aerial photos and since then Rod has painted many, many works with Maungakawa Hill (and the view from it) as the focus. His works are held in many collections throughout NZ including both the Waikato Museum and the Waikato University.
Via Maungakawa hill Rod became a master of light, horizons and colour. His works are not only beautiful but clever.
I like that Rod still uses the same black and white photos to create works of such vivid colour. I like that one man has painted the same geographic location for such a sustained period of time. I like that over the years these paintings have been created both “in the field” and from memory, at the other end of the country.
Over the last three decades they have told the story of a local and regional landscape that has seldom been chosen as significant by any other artist of note. I love them - I hope they never end.