Michelle Hamer

We all know the billboards, graffiti and instructional signage in our neighbourhoods but have you ever really stopped to think about what its all telling you about society? Michelle Hamer’s hand-stitched and drawn works force us to confront this language of our fears, beliefs & aspirations. Based on her own digital photographs, taken in an instant, these slow works are dark and ironic in how familiar they are. They honour the language of the street while questioning its connection to our psyches and contemporary edicts.

Hamer’s work literally connects to a unique moment in time yet as the world changes the works take on new meaning and speak to us in new ways. The messages and scenes captured are pointed and personal. They are the moment, sign, scratch of graffiti that hits us directly – irreverently encapsulating life and memorialising an everyday instance while allowing us the time and space to be present, reflect and then laugh at what life presents.


Relax, We’re Doing Great – Shelter in Place (2020) hand-stitching, mixed yarn on perforated plastic, 26.5x33cm
Relax, We’re Doing Great – Priority Suburbs (2021) hand-stitching, mixed yarn on perforated plastic, 26.5x33cm
Relax, We’re Doing Great – Safe & Strong (2021) hand-stitching, mixed yarn on perforated plastic, 26.5x33cm

Michelle Hamer – Installation


Since 2005 Hamer has been awarded grants from the Australia Council (8), Creative Victoria (2) and City of Melbourne (3); had twenty one solo exhibitions and partaken in numerous group and prize finalist shows. Her work features in ‘She Persists’ NGV, Melbourne; MoCa London director Michael Petry’s ‘The Word is Art’ (2018); Stephen Banham’s book ‘Characters’ (2011) exploring a history of signage in Melbourne; Luke Feireiss’ ‘Imagine Architecture’ and Barry & Jobson’s ‘The Craft Companion’. In 2015 Hamer was co and joint inaugural winner of the Architecture in Tapestry design prize through the Australian Tapestry Workshop.

Michelle Hamer has works in permanent collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, City of Melbourne; Artbank; Gippsland Art Gallery; Warrnambool Art Gallery and private collections in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Copenhagen and Auckland. Previous residencies include Millay Colony of the Arts, New York; Australian Tapestry Workshop & Fintona Girls’ School with an upcoming one at Poland Artist Residency in June 2021.


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