Different strokes for father and son artists
Stratton Hatfield calls himself the instigator; his father, Martin Hatfield, brings attention to detail.
The artists opened their first joint exhibition, Same Same, But Different, at the Bermuda Society of Arts last week.
“Although we’ve been collaborating in discussion we wanted to come together,” said Stratton, who has been making concrete cast sculptures since 2011.
“He’s always been a supporter of my creative endeavours. He has encouraged me to pursue different mediums since I was a young boy. He has taught me many different skills.”
Martin, who paints and makes mixed-media collages, held a solo show at the City Hall Gallery two years ago.
Called Forty Years On, it brought together the career he has had since obtaining his degrees in biology, and sculpture and screen painting.
“My last show was actually due to Stratton as he gave me the gallery booking as a Christmas present,” he said.
“I had 11 months to prepare. The pressure was what I needed. I will be for ever grateful for this push back into the field that I love most.”
Martin retired from his work as a marketing consultant and designer a month ago. He now works part-time, at Wadson’s Farm.
“I realised I had to spend a lot more time on what I enjoy,” he said
“The last 35 years has been this pursuit of money and money and I’ve just crossed that bridge having turned 65. It’s really important to me to now spend the rest of my life focusing on artwork.”
His son shares his love for the garden.
“We both draw influences from horticulture and flora,” Stratton said.
“Dad has a background in biology. I’ve always been interested in agriculture and Bermuda’s plant diversity. Dad has taught me to be resourceful, to encourage reusing or salvaging materials — I have sourced quarry sand to use in my pieces — [and] you can see that in his work where he’s using brown paper bags and reclaimed wood.”
Stratton and friend Nicola Muirhead ran a photography booth project from 2013 to 2015, capturing the faces of 600 people on the island. He also contributed to Stephanie Gibson’s group exhibition last year, Things Unspoken.
“From the time the kids were real little I was always encouraging them to express themselves,” Martin said.
“I was always down in the workshop or collecting driftwood — it was this creative process I was trying to get them involved in.
“There’s a pride to show them. I’m concerned with detail. You can paint one side of the door because that will be seen, but I like to look a little bit further.”
For this exhibit he has revisited themes from his last, using recycled waste paper, antique cotton paper and reclaimed antique marbled pages.
“All frames have been hand made using reclaimed antique wormy oak from Scotland, recycled oak pallets, and of course, reclaimed Bermuda cedar from various sites being demolished over the years,” he said.
“I will have some traditional Bermuda subject matter in the show but I have been experimenting with several new techniques and pulling out a few old ones for sentimental reasons.”
The greatest reward has been sharing the show with his son.
“It’s a treat beyond belief,” he said.
Added Stratton: “Both Marty and [my mother] Fiona have been really supportive of my creativity and art and expression — all of these things that nurture artists.”
• Same Same, But Different runs until January 9 in the Edinburgh Gallery at BSoA. Open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm; Saturdays 10am-1pm
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