Barb Hunt – Toll at The Rooms

When I first met Barb Hunt, it was in my studio in art school. Then, she was working on her body of work anti-personnel, where she knit replicas of antipersonnel land mines in various shades of pink wool. This series, which was displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2001, and of which 50 of the fuzzy landmines are now in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s collection, opened my eyes to the power of pink, and inspired my own art practice from that day forward.

From December 10th – January 4th, The Rooms in St. John’s, Newfoundland will house Barb Hunt’s recent work in the exhibition, Toll. “Hunt continues to explore themes of mourning, human conflict and memory. Using camouflage fabric as a central theme and material, Hunt’s art considers the human costs of armed conflict balanced by a deep empathy for individuals, including soldiers, in areas of hostility. Beyond depicting the absurdity of war, Hunt’s nuanced installations contemplate the fragility and beauty of the human body.” In such works as Incarnate (image), Hunt carefully and obsessively embroiders pink thread on used army fatiques. Incarnate, as well as the rest of the exhibition, depicts both the insanity and absurdity of war, contrasted with careful obsessive sewing that speaks volumes about the fragility and beauty of the human body.

Image: Barb Hunt, Incarnate (detail), 2004, Worn Army Fatigues, Embroidery Thread


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