Watching for Buller
Bill Hammond
Collection: Wallace Paramount Awards

Winner of the 1994 Paramount Award
Watching For Buller
Oil on Canvas
1000 x 1200 mm
Collection of the James Wallace Arts Trust

William (Bill) Hammond (b. 1947)

Hammond is represented in private and public collections throughout New Zealand and his work has been included in several important International exhibitions. ‘Hammond has become a celebrated and enigmatic exponent of what is bizarre, surreal and quirky in New Zealand art, and in the last nineteen years he has firmly embedded himself into the art history of this country.’ ( 1)

This seminal work ‘Waiting for Buller’ refers to the famous ornithologist Sir Walter Lawry Buller (1838 - 1906) who had an influence on Hammond’s work. ‘In his paintings Hammond pays both a reluctant homage to Buller, as well as commenting on what he saw as an often archaic and obstructive practice, referring to him as the “bird stuffer”. Buller viewed the native birds of New Zealand in much the same way that artists such as Charles Frederick Goldie (1870-1947) saw the Maori race - as noble but on the verge of extinction.’ ( 2) ‘Hammond has titillated and bemused the New Zealand art scene with his lurching and jittery images for several years, however more recently his work has become less frenetically spooky and he has incorporated a sense of elegance and delicacy into his sardonic history paintings and black comedies.’ ( 3)


(1) Courtesy of Ferner Galleries

(2) Courtesy of Gowlangsford Gallery

(3) Courtesy of Ferner Galleries

Watching for Buller