Finding My Way in the Woods

Finding My Way in the Woods
by Ed Hunt
The Art Incubator Gallery . April 26 – June 8, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, April 26, from 7 pm – 10 pm
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton

“There reigned around him a silence such as might make a man doubt his very existence.”

Gabrielle Roy
The Hidden Mountain 1961

Finding My Way in the Woods, was a way of testing myself as an artist. Since creative output is one of my modes of connecting to and communicating with the world, I need to create as a part of my survival. Yet as most artists do, I struggle with the challenge of creating in isolation.

Under the confines of this difficulty, I undertook a solo hike in Jasper National Park up the Whirlpool River Valley in September 2016. I trained and prepared for this trip for months prior. My fitness had to be elevated, my gear had to be tested, and my art materials had to be light and small.

Above all though, I required solitude for this trip in order to be truly available to the experience, and to maximize the intake of all of my senses. It was my intent to paint in isolation, on an emotional level in the wild and to be completely open and reactive to the untamed environment.

I recorded this trip in words, drawings, watercolours, and photography. Learning to work in deep isolation demanded a resourcefulness that both inspired and confounded me. I was swallowed by the Whirlpool River Valley and in the mouth of nature. The sights, sounds, smells, and the haptic all exceeded my expectations.

The idea of being alone, even temporarily and by choice, triggers powerful emotions. However, the act of making art in isolation proved to me I was not alone. As I discovered in the river valley to do anything beyond survival was in itself and act of connection, and thereby an act of art.

 

Artist’s Biography

Ed Hunt is a Canadian artist whose work offers equal parts vision, emotion and trust. Working in diverse media within the ideals of simplicity, undefined perception and mark making that invites the viewer to engage. Working in a minimalist style that denies the viewer information Ed creates art that confounds and confronts, revealing the audience’s ability to engage the imagination and empathy. “I do not fear failure, rather, I fear failing to try.” Ed strives to express honesty, mistakes and adaptability in his work. By combining skills from a Fine Arts Certificate, a Forest Technology Diploma and a Degree in the Arts (Literature and History) Ed explores themes of the self, emptiness and place. “Through the lens of fascination and exploration, with support, I will bring back to you what I have found.”

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