‘An Agreeable State of Uncertainty’ curated by Stephen Waddell at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

An Agreeable State of Uncertainty

‘An Agreeable State of Uncertainty’ curated by Stephen Waddell at the Vancouver Art Gallery June 11- Sept 5 2016
http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/the_exhibitions/exhibit_callahan_anagreeablestateofuncertainty.html

‘Line as Language’ at Burrard Arts Foundation

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Line as Language

Line as Language

‘Line as Language’ at Burrard Arts Foundation May 19- July 2 2016
http://www.burrardarts.org/project/shawn-hunt/

Line as Language

Thursday, May 5th, 2016


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Photo: Paul Hodgson


Line As Language


Line As Language


Line As Language


Line As Language


‘Line As Language’ opens May 19th at Burrard Arts Foundation 108 East Broadway Vancouver B.C.
www.mfineart.ca
www.burrardarts.org

Shawn Hunt Uses Art to Tell His Stories
by Alexandra Best | May 11, 2016 | BAF Studio, Recent Posts |

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We spoke with Shawn Hunt, B.C. based Heiltsuk artist, on his upcoming series of paintings, entitled Line as Language.
AB: Where are you based out of?
SH: Currently I’m working on the Sunshine Coast. I’ve spent time in Vancouver recently working in East Van, but I prefer the country life to the city life.

AB: Did you go to school for art?
SH: Yes, I did go to art school. I went to Capilano University when I was in collage. They had an excellent studio art program there at one time. I graduated with a diploma in Studio Art. I then went to the University of British Columbia where I received my BFA. After UBC I continued my education by working with my dad Bradley Hunt who is a renowned Heiltsuk carver and artist. After working with my father I went on to apprentice in painting with Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun for a few years.

AB: Can you tell us a bit about your heritage?
SH: Sure, my father is Heiltsuk from Waglisla, also known as Bella Bella in British Columbia. My mother is from Langham Saskatchewan. Her family is Canadian with Scottish ancestry.

Shawn Hunt

AB: Do you often work with your family? Is your whole family artistic?
SH: My Dad Bradley Hunt and my brother Dean Hunt are both artists. My mom was a teacher, although now that she is retired, she dabbles in the arts as well. I’m fortunate enough to share a studio with my dad and brother. Sometimes we collaborate with each other formally, and other times informally. We are all very close.

AB: You work with lots of sculpture and painting – what is your preferred medium, and what are the benefits of each?
SH: I also work in jewelry as well. I don’t think I could chose a favourite medium. I like the variety. It keeps me fresh, and I believe it helps me to progress. Each medium informs the other. For this exhibition I am just showcasing my paintings, but I’m also working on another exhibition for later in the year that will be exclusively sculptures.

AB: What themes are you working on in your upcoming show, Line As Language?

SH: I feel like my Heiltsuk culture has always been described as having an oral history, meaning that we did not write down our history, instead we told stories to pass on our history and our mythology. I think just as importantly, we have had a visual culture history. Our art is a language. It is not something that can be directly translated into English, and I think that this just has to be accepted. Our style of art, Northern art, has been referred to as formline art. The formline is basically the black line that acts like a skeleton for the red elements in the design. The design style is very complex, yet at the same time incredibly simple, like a paradox; magic in its truest sense. I’m trying to work with this line, its characteristics and it’s principles in new ways. To be free with it, yet retaining its integrity. Its a puzzle, a game, an obsession. It’s a language of line that is constantly evolving, and I’m continuing to learn the language as I go.

Shawn Hunt

AB: Can you tell us bit more about the concept of Neoformline?
SH: Neoformline is just a term that I started using to describe a style of Northwest Coast art where the artist was pushing the boundaries of the formline style; when he or she was trying to use formline in new and sometimes unconventional ways. There are quite a few artists that have done this and I am by no means the first. I’m just putting my own spin on it. This art form is a very old one, it goes back to the beginning. It is a continuum. What artists like myself and others are doing today will be built on by the next generation, just as we built our artwork on the work of the artists that came before us.

AB: A lot of your past work depicts traditional Heiltsuk history – what are some stories that you are exploring in this current show?
SH: I feel like I am trying to answer the big questions, to try and seek out the answers to life’s mysteries. Creation, purpose, why we are here, who are we, and what are we here to do. I don’t have the answers, I probably never will, but that’s not the point. The point is to ask the questions and to seek the answers. In fact the more I learn, and the more I work, the more I realize that I know so very little. It’s like that with life and it’s like that with the art.

AB: Some of your past work has elements of satire – I’m thinking of Trickster and Three Watchmen. Is there any irony in your current show?
SH: No I don’t think so. I think with some of those earlier works I was trying to be clever. I think like many artists I have that trickster nature about me, a rebellious thinker. With this body of work I’m trying to make work that is raw and real. Trying to make work that is based less on intellect and more on emotion. I try not to overthink it. Sometimes I have the feeling of just be a passive observer of what comes out. It’s a process and I’m trying to get in touch with it. I am trying to let go of a perceived outcome. I don’t know. It’s difficult to articulate because I realize I am just at the beginning of this journey.

AB: What do you find the most inspirational?
SH: That’s tough to pin down. I collect inspiration from everywhere. I try to take it in through all of my senses. I’m not sure where my work comes from or why it materializes in this way. Inspiration is incredibly varied and random. All of these paintings begin first as drawings. Drawing has always been like my therapy. I draw incessantly and this stuff just pours out. I am happy that it does because I enjoy the process and am fascinated by the result.

Catch Shawn Hunt’s latest exhibition, Line as Language, at Burrard Arts Foundation (108 E Broadway). Opening May 19th.

Text by Alexandra Best and Shawn Hunt

Odalisque

Friday, November 20th, 2015


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Odalisque


Photo: Barb Choit

Object Attributed to Shawn Hunt

Friday, November 20th, 2015


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Object Attributed to Shawn Hunt


Photo: Barb Choit

Flipping the Bird

Friday, November 20th, 2015


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Flipping the Bird


Photo: Barb Choit

Plushy Souvenir

Friday, November 20th, 2015


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Plushy Souvenir


Photo: Barb Choit

Mask

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012


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Mask

Industrial Portrait

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


 Industrial Portrait

Industrial Portrait

Mushroom Eater

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


Mushroom Eater

Mushroom Eater

Time Traveler

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


Time Traveler

Time Traveler

Untitled

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


Untitled

Untitled

Blue Nude

Saturday, January 14th, 2012


Blue Nude

Blue Nude

Redhead

Thursday, January 12th, 2012


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Redhead

Raven GT

Thursday, January 12th, 2012



Raven GT

Ascension

Thursday, January 12th, 2012


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Ascension

3am

Thursday, January 12th, 2012


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“3am”

Red Nude

Monday, January 31st, 2011


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Red Nude 2010 acrylic on wood 37 x 37 inches

Dancing Frog

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010


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Dancing Frog 2010 acrylic on canvas 60 x 72 x 4 inches

Butterfly Bracelet

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010


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Butterfly Bracelet 2010 (silver)

Frog

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010


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Frog 2010 (red cedar, acrylic paint) 41×14 inches

When the Lights Go On

Friday, December 11th, 2009


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When the Lights Go On 2009 (red cedar, acrylic paint) 72 x 96 inches
This entranceway panel depicts the moment when Raven raises the sun up overhead to shed light on a world that was in darkness.

Entrance

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


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Entrance 2009 (red cedar, steel, aluminum, glass, slate, water)
Entrance to a private residence. Consisting of four sculpted red cedar house posts. Each post is carved completely around. Two large masks depicting a male and female cap the ends of the 36′ beams. On the front panel Moon woman is depicted with two frogs swimming in her wind blown hair. A solitary frog is depicted on back panel. Carved with Bradley Hunt and Dean Hunt.

Box of Light Fireplace

Monday, May 18th, 2009


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Box of Light Fireplace 2009 ( red cedar, steel, bronze, fire)
Carved completely around and viewable from all sides, this piece sits in the middle of a private residence. Carved in red cedar is the myth of how Raven stole the sun from a bentwood storage box owned by a wealthy chief. The fire inside the wooden box represents the sun.

Trickster

Sunday, May 17th, 2009
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Trickster 2009 (acrylic on canvas) 90 x 60 x 5 inches.
Featured in Continuum: Vision and Creativity on the Northwest Coast. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
June 20, 2009 – Jan 31, 2010

Photo: Kenji Nagai

Spring Loaded

Sunday, May 17th, 2009


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Spring Loaded 2010 (Silver)

Three Watchmen

Saturday, May 16th, 2009


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Three Watchmen 2009 (acrylic on wood, red cedar bark) 48 x 36 x 2 inches.
In this painting Raven the trickster tries to steal a valuable piece of gold jewelry…but is caught on camera by the Three watchmen.

Entwined

Saturday, May 16th, 2009


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Entwined Four Frogs 2009 (Bronze, water, light)
Water feature with four frogs tongues encircling the moon.

The Artist and His Muse

Saturday, May 16th, 2009


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The Artist and His Muse 2008 (Silver)

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery

This Stick Ain’t Saying Anything!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009


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This Stick Ain’t Saying Anything! 2007 (acrylic on canvas) 20 x 16 inches.
Featured in Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast. McMichael Canadian Art Collection
June 27, 2009 – Sept 20, 2009

Featured in Mini Masterworks II. Spiritwrestler Gallery

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery

Formline Rhythm Guitar

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


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Formline Rhythm 2009 Guitar
This is a collaboration with Luthier Rob Bustos of Paragon Guitars.
Raven and Eagle paint a traditional formline design.

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery

I’m Selling My Ovoids Bracelet

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


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I’m Selling My Ovoids 2008 (silver bracelet)
Raven realizes the value in the traditional ovoid design and decides to sell his to the highest bidder.
Done for Flash Forward Vancouver Art Gallery 75th anniversary art auction

Wrist Totem Pole

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009


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Wrist Totem Pole 2008 (silver bracelet)

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery

The Day Dreamer

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009


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The Day Dreamer 2007 (silver bracelet)

Love of Shiny Things Bracelet

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009


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Love of Shiny Things 2007 (18k gold bracelet)
Ravens love of all things shiny compels him to steal a woman’s gold earring.

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery

Artifact

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009


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Artifact 2006 (silver Bracelet)
Raven and Frog discuss the term artifact at an opening.

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery

A Matter of Perspective

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009


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A Matter of Perspective 2008 (silver bracelet)
All eyes are on each other but their view is a matter of perspective.

Photography: Spiritwrestler Gallery