Bruce Hunt “begins his works with a bright blue base colour, building up warmer tones over the top in multiple thin washes. This renders the normal brash medium of acrylic as soft and gentle as watercolour in Hunt’s hands, and allows the shimmering haze and gloaming of the Central Otago summer to be assayed to full effect. The majestic, glacially sculpted forms and broad straths are elegantly and finely recreated, and the artist has beautifully captured the ephemeral light found in the region.” (1)
Amongst the many qualities of Hunt’s paintings is that of topographical accuracy and a preparedness to let the architectonic structure assert itself. “I’m … interested in the … geography of the landscape. How each ridge-line relates to each other and how it meets the sky.” (2) These are also – unmistakably – the paintings of a participant: someone who walks up and over and into the landscape, and in that way, one who knows it intimately. This is revealed by the remarkable and acute vantage positions he claims, the angle of sight (and height) established and the (especially successful) sensation the viewer has, that they too stand in the landscape with him.
He uses casting light and emergent shadow as expressive, atmospheric time-of-day, climatic and information tools to augment the geomorphic structural dialogues. Amongst these the signs of man slowly emerge - the trails of stock and vehicles, the troughs and irrigation lakes of farms, the manicured, rutted and eroded landscape of tussock based farming.
1. James Dignan, “Nature Shining,” Otago Daily Times, February 15, 2007.
2. Bruce Hunt quoted by Nigel Benson, “Central Otago Canvas…,” Otago Daily Times, February 8, 2007.