By Umer Nangiana
With support of Qatar Foundation (QF), the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar (VCU-Q), is showcasing the VCU-Q Fellowship with the work of this year’s fellow Gina Hunt.
Every year, the programme selects two artists at varying stages of their careers to become artists in residence at VCU-Q. The exhibition, to be held on 10th of this month, will feature a new body of Hunt’s work initiated and completed while in residence at VCU-Q, including large-scale paintings and installation.
Gina Hunt makes abstract paintings as an interdisciplinary platform to research the complexities and subjectivity of vision. Her solo exhibition ‘Liquid Crystal + Polymer’ features a body of work that involves screens as a conceptual platform for investigation.
While in residence at VCU-Q, Hunt has been researching screens of different scales, from the barely perceptible grid of the digital screen, to the small, tessellated grid of the warp and weft of textiles, to the architectural patterns of window screens, which our bodies inhabit and physically encounter.
“Finding expansive possibilities within a limited means fascinates me, as does the potential for a material object to incite a perceptual event that belies its inherent physical ‘facts’,” says Hunt in her introductory statement.
She has a long-term research interest involving the technologies of imaging through the medium of light, including the history of early photography, optics, and the physiology of vision inform the work.
“Structure, indexicality, pattern, and process are conceptual platforms which have developed into paintings that approach both the photographic and the sculptural. I am allowing illusion and optical phenomena to exist while exposing their parts in a very direct way,” says Hunt.
A strong fascination with screens as mediators of light has driven her most recent body of work. Each of these screens she is researching has the ability to create temporary interference patterns that activate our perception of space, light, and colour, she says. These patterns emerge from illumination and the filtering of light through each medium.
The temporality of these patterns, paired with the emergence of colour through light, are the most fascinating characteristics she has invested her research in. This is propelled by a strong curiosity about the relationship between these physical spaces of light mediation (architecture and fabric) and the digital screens that are consistently used to view visual information.
Gina Hunt received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Printmaking, and Art History from Minnesota State University, a Master of Arts in Painting from Minnesota State University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Illinois State University.
Her recent awards include the Artist in Residence Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar, a PLRAC/McKnight Emerging Artist Grant, and a 2015 nomination to the Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant Programme.
Hunt has exhibited her work widely in solo, two-person, and group shows throughout the United States and internationally, including Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar, The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN), Front Room Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Woman Made Gallery (Chicago), Hoffman LaChance Contemporary (St Louis), Transpace Gallery (Normal, IL), Silverwood Park Gallery (St Anthony, MN), Viaduct Gallery (Des Moines, IA), University of Illinois (Springfield, IL), Ebersmoore (Chicago), Altered Esthetics, (Minneapolis, MN), Minnesota State University (Mankato, MN), 410 Project (Mankato, MN) and University of Wisconsin (LaCrosse, WI).
Hunt’s exhibition follows an exhibition ‘I Keep Repeating It Over & Over In My Head’ by Nastassja E Swift, the other fellow at residence at VCU-Q. Swift is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, with a major in Painting and Printmaking and a minor in Craft and Material Studies.
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