Friday Art Blog

Struan Hamilton: Ruination and Regrowth

Orb (Etching, 1998)

Struan Hamilton is a Scottish born printmaker (b. 1971), who specialises in lithography and etching. The technique he applies to etching is more specifically known as simultaneous colour painting (viscosity etching). This was a skill that he discovered throughout years of working in the field as well as learning from experienced printmakers.

His academic roots detail his secondary institute of education being the Montrose Academy in Angus, Scotland from 1983 to 1989; to the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee from 1989 to 1993. In 1994 he travelled to Paris in France to develop his printmaking skills further at the Atelier institute which was founded by Stanley William Hayter in 1927.

At the Atelier building he obtained the printmaking assistant position to the director of the building, Hector Saunier as well as the head technician, Sun Sun Yip. Hamilton oversaw the preparation of the workshop fulfilling tasks such as maintaining the roller and press, readying the surfaces, and mixing of intaglio inks as well as the viscosity of inks. He was also given the responsibility of arranging the exhibitions.

Upon returning to his homeland, Scotland, he found work at the freshly constructed Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre. His role was to assist in the preparation of the printmaking stations, with this task he was able to widen his knowledge of the possibilities that a properly set up workshop brings. After this position he moved to Belfast to fill the role of a manager at the Belfast Print Workshop, but this was not a long-lasting position as he moved to New Zealand.

He moved to New Zealand in 2009 and worked at the Elam School of Fine Arts as the 2D Team Leader as well as filling a similar role at the University of Auckland.

Within (Etching)

What is clear is that Hamilton uses the combination of man-made sculptures with the organic. A combination of the “ruination and regrowth”, reason why he is so fond of the etching media. The etching surface naturally produces a distressed texture, which successfully encapsulates Hamilton’s concept.


20th Century Modern Printmaking – S. W. Hayter – Atelier 17. (2019, October). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from

Struan Hamilton. (2014, September 02). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from

Struan Hamilton. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from

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