Hamish Young

My work is autoethnographic, exploring ‘in between’ spaces, drawing on feelings associated with loss and abandonment from my experiences as an adoptee. As such I have cultivated a schism in my art practice crossing the boundary of the sculpture and drawing.

My pencil drawings of the estuary edge on tracing paper float in the frame space, leading to a sense of disconnection and vulnerability. Tracing paper enables a trace or connection with another (image), but also obscures details. This echoes my feelings of being both apart from and part of two families. Details, life events and images missing from both family experiences. ‘In between’ two families.

The subject of the estuary edge pulls the viewer into the Romanticism, where waters and sky merge and land is lost, clarity and permanence being elusive. Like the marks left behind in the silt, hidden again by the tides, the seaweed resonates with my experiences following adoption, surviving at the edge of two environments, ambivalent, moving with the changing tides.

Removing something from one place and placing it in another is an artistic device, familiar via Duchamp. My sculptures use this to illustrate transitioning between two environments. My pencil lead brushes are silent; immobilised, like a half-breath held. Leads, like neural pathways, both connected and disconnected are supported in an exposed position. Any connection with a surface to make a mark risks the leads shattering. Not connecting, is safer. These speak of the challenges I have faced forming secure relationships.

Similarly, my pencil lead shells, and nests sit at the boundary of both Sculpture and Drawing, ‘in between’, at once apart from and a part of each genre. The nest is also an ‘in between’, a temporary home, a boundary attempting to keep the inside from the outside. It crosses two discernible limits.


Website: www.hamishyoung.net