For David Hamilton, life really did begin at 40 when he left the world of accountancy, making furniture and working in a slate mine to take up art.
Now almost 20 years later, this self-taught artist is creating a name for himself with his amazing pieces of sculpture, mainly using copper.
David (left) is one of 4627 artists who this month will have works featured in 547 exhibitions and events during the 17th annual SALA Festival – South Australian Living Artists – until August 24. The official logo is above.
And the Fleurieu Peninsula, which has evolved as one of the state’s most energetic art regions – especially since the Just Add Water experience in Goolwa in 2011-12 – is very much a part of this amazing cultural experience.
David has teamed with another brilliant artist Cheryl Anne Brown, whose drawings are inspirational, to present their Look to Nature exhibition as part of the festival at David’s home workshop at 279 Skewes Road, Goolwa from Thursday-Sunday 11am-4pm until August 24. He’s pictured with one of his latest creations No Laughing Matter.
David described the SALA Festival as wonderful because it gave every-day people a better appreciation of art in all forms.
“The festival includes everyone from hobbyists to professional artists, and the fact that you can look behind the scenes with the studio and open workshops is great. People do like to see how these things come about.”
With much humbleness for someone so talented, David says he believes there is hidden art talent in all of us, and hopes his late start in the art world may inspire others to transfer their imagination into art form.
“I really feel that a lot of people have a hidden art talent, and they shouldn’t be afraid to explore it no matter their age,” David said. “It’s also a matter of having the opportunity of being able to organise your life so you can actually put the time in. Half an hour now and again is not really going to cut it, but if you regularly put in some time that’s how it all develops.
“Your skills improve and you build upon on what you have done before. I think a lot of people have more talent than they realise.
“I started when I was 40, making and selling things. I always wanted to do art, but I never got around to it. Finally, I thought I’d have a go. My first piece was an insect from old tools. I finally got into copper, and as soon as I began working with it I just loved every moment so much. It’s quiet, soft and you can shape it.
“To me, art is never about making money. It is the satisfaction that you enjoy from someone has bought your work, forking out hard-earned money to take your piece home because they live it and want to appreciate it; is a great reward.
“Sure, I like the money too – that is what I have done as a profession since 2000 – but it is the fact someone else can see the beauty in something in that you have done is what makes you rich inside. It is great validation of what you have done.”
For a guide to the exhibitions and the artists involved in SALA across South Australia including the Fleurieu Peninsula section visit: