Artist Statement 2020
My ecologically-engaged practice is that of a multidisciplinary artist seeking to redress the prevailing lack of ecological empathy. It is a lofty goal, but in this time of climatic and ecological crisis, one that is directed towards generating optimism for the future. I believe that this is possible, not by denial or passive acceptance of the problems, but by encouraging care, respect, and restoration over exhaustion.
To create immersive experiences for the viewer and encourage close looking and deep thinking, I have employed photomedia, based on constructions. Mind the gaps (2017) was a series of illusory works of print photographs that challenged the viewer to understand the bit of the world being viewed. Each of the series of print images and the accompanying video Coral Considerations represented fragile and important ecosystems, and urged the viewer to reflect not only on the sophisticated complexity of the natural world – of its magical science and art, but also on what is artificial, and of the gaps that exist for each of us between the effects of our actions and the facts of our troubled time. For A new focus for our time: realities, possibilities and trees (2018), I created a series of print photographs from aspects of a sculptural form based on an Angophora Costata (Sydney red gum), as a visualisation of the realities of ecological profiteering but also of future possibilities.
For Arboreal Narratives, 2020 – a group exhibition by the Tree Veneration Society, I utilised the medium of painting for a series of paintings of iconic trees of Australia, each suggesting the curves, limbs and dynamism of the physical human form. Although our current problems are reinforced by our anthropocentric versus ecocentric perspective, try as we might, humans have difficulty in responding to nature other than through our anthropocentric lens, projecting our bodily references onto them. At the same time as playing to the human form, these paintings aim to evoke elements of our human struggle and engagement with ‘nature’. Hopefully, they are able to generate more of the ecological empathy that is required, so that instead of burying our heads in the sand, of denying the reality of the approaching existential crisis for all living things, we can take inspiration from our amazing trees. I have participated in group art exhibitions and been a competition winner with works of drawing, painting and photography.
As a research affiliate of the Sydney Environment Institute (University of Sydney), I have authored three essays:
After Nature: Aesthetics of Care in a Time of Loss, April 2019.
Political Change, Not Climate Change: How Australians Can Overcome Climate Denial, March 2019. https://sei.sydney.edu.au/opinion/political-change-not-climate-change-australians-can-overcome-climate-denial/
Visual artists as ecological change agents, March 2018
My artist’s website is dedicated to my work in Photomedia (Adrienne E Hunt Photomedia Artist): https://www.adriennehuntsydney.com