Award winner 2019

Patrick Hamer is one of the three winners of the recently held “Art Congress with perspective” (West region) for people with an employability limitating illness. His ‘army of miniature soldiers on canvas’ named ‘We are soldiers’ was a pleasant surprise for the jury. The art from the Kampen inhabitant has hit the rapids. The prize winning piece will take part in a travelling exposition in the west part of the country.

Hamer was very touched that people who did not know him liked his work so much. He should not be completely surprised; one of his pieces resides with his parents in Colorado (USA) and quite a few people have asked where they might have purchased it.


The emotion which Hamer felt in the Pulchri Studio in The Hague, where the competition was held, was present for another reason. A couple of years ago, when he was working as a painter/decorator, he suffered some severe injuries after a fall. After medical examination it appeared that he had broken his back and wrist in 2 places. Additional surgery to resolve the continuous pain and a long recovery period did not bring the result he wished for. Hamer lost considerable strength in one of his legs. He had to quit his new job as a barber and now he is focusing on ‘the art’.

He prefers to continue to talk about his art. The piece which resides with his parents – inspired by Dutch artist and singer Herman Brood – is no longer representative for his art. He has developed his own style. His pieces show a lot of relief with miniatures made from plastic or recycled materials and the use of syringes for the paint. Concerning the later he comments: “I do not paint with a brush, but use syringes instead. That is my trademark. When I look what materials will be on the canvas, they represent a value by themselves.”

The army of miniature soldiers Hamer bought especially for this artwork. The spectators should discover the madness of war themselves. The viewers with attention to details and those with historical knowledge will understand the symbolism of the blue paint on the piece. Hamer: “Blue is the colour of power. Someone of royal descent has blue blood. The uniforms of Napoleon’s army were also blue.”

One of Hamer’s other artworks shows us numerous animals. This one too is laced with syringe paintwork and a green dividing line. “The plastic animals symbolise the plastic soup we have created on this earth. The thin green line represents the flora and fauna which remains”, adds Hamer.

The artist does not shy away from current themes. Sometimes he will touch upon them with humour. He also created an artwork where he ridicules Donald Trump. The idea of the well known wall between the US and Mexico to keep the migrants from the south out, Hamer captured by using a legobrick imitation. Hamer commented: “I think Trump would be better of playing with Lego. Maybe he missed something during his youth.”

Hamer has received serious interest for some of his artwork. It would be great is he could build on this and live the life of a real artist. You just need to know how to sell yourself. Hamer: “I know from a discussion with a winner of the previous year how important that is.” He oozes passion for his art and this won’t hamper his success. Hamer: “Before my accident I was already creating some artwork and perhaps – in my head – it has been prevalent for the past 20 years. This is what I want and I will achieve my goal!”