Artist’s Statement – Debra Hunter
The art I produce is heavily inspired by nature. As I garden, hike, paddle or snowshoe I am always looking for a new theme to explore. I believe some of the most exciting ideas for artwork can be found in locations and subjects that surround you on a daily basis. I work primarily in three different disciplines: painting, photography and fibre art. Often one discipline will inspire another. A session of macro photography in a roadside ditch often leads to an idea for a painting or a fibre art piece, plus I am also able to collect dye stuff, such as tansy, on the same outing which I will use to make my own dyes for a fibre art project.
My personal photography concentrates on landscape and macro photography of the natural world; this is a very different subject matter than that of my profession which is portrait and business photography. Looking at the world close up, in different lighting, and in weather both foul and fair, allows me to view my everyday world more deeply and see the beauty in the details that are so easily missed through the course of our busy daily lives.
My painting, over recent years, has been following a theme of vignettes of nature. Looking at select segments of nature allows you to see nature in a very extraordinary way. The subject matter explored includes plants, flowers, forests, rural areas and my garden. I love to take a close up of a flower or a segment of a scene and create a painting where I can explore the lines, the texture, the patterns and the color. Playing with a lot of pattern and color is what makes me fall in love with working on a painting.
Fibre art is a new found passion. I have worked with yarns and fabrics for years creating functional knit and sewn pieces, but recently I have been working with these same materials to create art pieces. The base materials are mainly cotton, silk and wool enhanced with natural dyes. The magic really starts when I start dyeing the base materials with homegrown or gathered materials; it is amazing to dye fabric in a pot full of marigolds picked from your own garden, to watch a plant give up its color to a piece of silk, and then turn the dyed fabric into a piece of art. The process is as interesting as the finished piece. In addition to using dye baths to color my fabric,I also employ eco-dyeing techniques where fabrics are dyed through a contact method with leaves, flowers, and plant material. I bring my love of patterns and textures to the fibre art pieces with stitching and beading; playing with textures makes for a piece that not only wants to be looked at, but one that also wants to be touched.
My art, in all forms, are inspired by nature, yet explored through details, patterns, texture and color.