Happiness Lives Here

By Mary Tinti

I’ve been a fan of Elisa H. Hamilton’s vibrant, joyful artworks since I first encountered them in the Made in Fort Point gallery this time last year. Bright, bubbly, and soaked in color, her works on paper generate the same kind of sweet smiles and delight as the large glass candy jar filled to the brim with M&M’s that is now a staple in my apartment.

Her current exhibition at the Accidental Gallery, Happiness Lives Here, is a perfect nod to the lazy days of summer that seem to go by at a tragically rapid pace. In place of seascapes, sunfish, and sandcastles, Hamilton gives us tenderly composed still life scenes of the everyday – a shelf full of clean glasses and bowls just waiting to be used for lemonade and ice cream sundaes, or a prettily pillowed bed primed for an afternoon nap.

In her artist statement, Hamilton writes, “Happiness Lives Here is an ode to the simple pleasures of our day to day existence. I am moved by our most commonplace moments and strive to bring the inherent beauty of our everyday lives into joyful focus.”

While Hamilton’s work is a pleasure in any season, it does seem to conjure even more spectacular associations when displayed on the brink of summer. For example, Yes, It Was Delicious is brilliant in the way it symbolizes so many different things: a mouthwatering meal, an afternoon of kitchen prep, and the idea that it’s okay to let the dirty dishes soak for a while. Viewed with summer vacation on the brain, Yes, It Was Delicious becomes a fun reverie about the many barbecues on deck with friends and family over the next three months. It also taps into the irony that while doing the dishes in your own home might seem like a chore, doing the same while on holiday has none of the same connotations – in fact, I practically skip to the sink when I’m anywhere but in my own house!

I’m drawn to Shower Shelf for the same reason. There is something so special about summertime showers, especially those taken after a day spent frolicking at the beach. Showers before heading to work on Monday morning are somehow just not the same.

Looking at piece of artwork by Elisa H. Hamilton makes you feel like you’re on vacation and experiencing all the good that life has to offer, all the time. The happiness is most definitely contagious, so go treat yourselves to a dose before this little exhibit ends on June 24th.

Happiness Lives Here
Recent Works on Paper by Elisa H. Hamilton
April 30th - June 24th, 2012
Closing Reception June 22nd, 5:00pm-8:00pm

The Accidental Gallery
300 Summer Street, 1st Floor
Boston MA 02210
Gallery Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm

Relevant links:
Elisa H. Hamilton’s website: www.elisahhamilton.com
For those who are curious and would like to read my first impressions of Hamilton’s work from her Homescapes exhibition last June, please visit my personal arts blog, Dress for Sports.

Image Captions/Credits:
Elisa Hamilton, Yes, It Was Delicious, 2012, crayon, ink, gouache and oil pastel on paper. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Elisa Hamilton, Shower Shelf, 2012, crayon, ink, gouache, acrylic and oil pastel on paper. Photo courtesy of the artist.


About the Author
Mary Tinti Mary Tinti
Mary is a Koch Curatorial Fellow at the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. On her blog, Dress For Sports, she says, "I love innovative public art, creative design, and unique intersections of architecture, sculpture, and installation.  And I love stumbling upon cool collisions of art and everyday life." Mary has a Ph.D. in art history from Rutgers University.


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