It was there all along
by Frank Hamrick
Artist Statement by Frank Hamrick
It was there all along is a series of tintype photographs and a limited edition, artist's book composed of images made in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee in response to my growing concerns about water—in relation to food, recreation, flooding, drought, and coastal erosion. Water is universal and connects people to one another and to nature. As the grandson of a well driller, I learned at an early age that water does not originate from a faucet, nor simply disappear after going down the drain.
If a photograph is likened to a single song, then an artist’s book is similar to an entire album of music complete with cover art and liner notes. By combining images with text and incorporating various materials and processes—such as handmade paper, letterpress, staining, and the layering of different colors of paper—my artist’s books enable me to create limited edition works of art that convey a more complete, realized idea than a single image is capable of doing.
The pieces I make have particular meaning to me, but I understand other people will see them in their own way. My artwork is not necessarily created to illustrate or provide answers. If anything, I would like my art to generate more questions. I do not see my works as endpoints, but rather starting places where I give viewers ideas to ponder and allow room for their imaginations to create the rest of the story.
About The Artist
Artist Frank Hamrick is a professor and graduate program coordinator at Louisiana Tech University School of Design in Ruston, Louisiana. His work has been written about by Oxford American Magazine and National Public Radio and is held in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Born in Georgia, Hamrick grew up surrounded by the writing of Flannery O’Conner and Alice Walker, as well as the music of Little Richard, Otis Redding, and the Allman Brothers Band. His work combines photography and storytelling with papermaking and letterpress printing to create handmade books that explore the topics of time, relationships, and home. His limited edition artist’s book of tintype images Harder than writing a good haiku earned the 2017 Houston Center for Photography Fellowship and was awarded first place in the 2017 Los Angeles Festival of Photography’s photobook competition. His most recent book is It was there all along.
Hamrick first connected with the Nashville creative community in 2007 as an intern producing letterpress concert posters at Hatch Show Print. In 2015, he created the cover photographs for David Rawlings and Gillian Welch’s record Nashville Obsolete. Since then, his photography has appeared on albums for other songwriters including Kevin Gordon’s Tilt And Shine.
The appearance of Frank Hamrick is made possible by generous gifts from Solie Fott, Watkins College of Art at Belmont University, and the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation.