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From Gravesend to Phoenix, Arizona: Artist has work displayed at US exhibition

PUBLISHED: 15:42 27 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:42 27 February 2014

Mary Hamill

Mary Hamill

Archant

Among the many pieces of art currently on display in an exhibition 5,000 miles away are prints created a lot closer to home.

Mary HamillMary Hamill

Seeing your work exhibited in public is a great thrill for any artist.

But that thrill has a thoroughly international flavour for Gravesend artist Mary Hamill.

Mary’s work was selected for the Stuckist show at the Trunk Space Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona.

The month-long exhibition showcases the talent of “anti-elitist” artists from across Europe and the United States.

Mary HamillMary Hamill

Mary, who has been featured in two Stuckist exhibitions in the past few years, was delighted when she heard she had been chosen.

She said: “It’s very exciting. It is the first time I have had my work exhibited internationally.

“I was contacted by the organiser who wanted to put on a Stuckist exhibition in Phoenix.

“I sent him my pieces hoping he would choose one or two, but was very pleased when he wanted to use them all.”

Mary HamillMary Hamill

Artists who call themselves Stuckists have held annual protests dressed as clowns to mock the Tate Modern’s Turner Prize selections, called conceptual artist Damien Hirst a plagiarist, and in general criticised the “elitist” approach to art.

Their call for art to be an inclusive, spiritual activity has gained many followers and there have been 237 Stuckist groups founded in 52 countries.

Exhibits of Stuckist work have been shown around the world, most recently in Tehran, Iran.

Mary agrees with the principles of the movement.

Mary HamillMary Hamill

“Art should be available for people to enjoy and not be difficult to understand,” she said.

“I believe the subject matter should be fairly clear so anyone can appreciate it.”

Painter and organiser of the Phoenix show, Richard Bledsoe, said: “While the aristocratic art world might be setting sales records, the visual arts are suffering a crisis of relevance in everyday life.

“Many artists working today are focused on substituting hype, networking and baffling jargon for actually making expressive art capable of connecting with people.

Mary HamillMary Hamill

“The Stuckists have made the grassroots a global phenomenon.”

The movement was set up in 1999 in London by founders Charles Thomson and Billy Childish.

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