Cyril Hamersma - Artist

Cyril Hamersma - Artist
Hamersma - Artist at Work

Cyril Hamersma - Artist - 1919 to 1994

Also a prolific writer and inventor . . .
Born 1919, London
Painted from an early age
Served in Royal Army Medical
Corps 1939-45
Taught art to fellow prisoners in Stalag VIIIB
Caring jobs
throughout his life to make ends meet
Married and with four daughters
Died 1994, Essex
This man could paint. See his self-portraits: 1965, 1983, 1992. See his landscapes, 'The Cornfield' and his nudes. He also understood the value of abstract art in touching people's awareness and he conveyed ideas through images which provoked enlightenment, pleasure and emotion in the viewers. Hamersma’s artwork regularly focused on the simple things in life: a juicy red apple; a welcoming pot of tea; a freshly fried egg – the basics of which he was, along with many thousands of men, deprived for four years as a prisoner of war in Germany in World War II. Abstract explorations were similarly derivative. He was fascinated by ‘the line’ in art. Where does one object finish and another begin, when you look at them as a two dimensional image? And every object is made up of cells, minuscule cells invisible to the naked eye but Hamersma exploded ideas and looked further into them, painting and drawing ‘cells’; images made up of cells; ‘metaphysical cell structures’ which led him to invent the Squircle. It was his Squircle work that became the pinnacle. “The Squircle is Art, Science and Religion – together in one image,” he said in January 1994. “Light invites everyone to join the fight against the darkness. Our hearts and eyes are drawn together to eliminate and squeeze,” he wrote in March 1994

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Whatever he painted, Hamersma always returned to the concept of 'the line' in art and how light constantly squeezes through to bring 'cells' of brightness.

His studio and his numerous sketchbooks were littered with images of 'squircles' - like hugely magnified, impressionist or highly perfectionist paintings of the perfect shape.

Hamersma's health was failing him and it was more important to him than ever that his work should be seen far and wide. He shared his ideas and enthusiasm with schoolchildren and community groups; and - just as he'd drawn his surroundings when a prisoner of war - he sketched fellow patients in St Bartholomew's hospital in London whilst receiving treatment for kidney failure. The Guardian newspaper were pleased to allow him to 'Squirclise' their publication (they featured his ideas often when he sent proposals for art installations).

Hamersma is buried in Braintree, with his wife who outlived him for three years after having done as much as she could to ensure his artwork is in safe hands.

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