My Artwork

EVERYTHING I WAS, AM & HOPE TO BE, CONDENSED INTO 78 LINES, 2010 A FALLING THROUGH, 2010 THE CYCLIC NATURE OF LIFE, AS EXPRESSED BY A SUNFLOWER, 2010 STILLNESS IN DREAMS, 2010 A PORTRAIT IN BLUE (CAUGHT IN BETWEEN), 2010 THE FERRYMAN, 2010 STANDING AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, 2010 A BLENDING OF ALL THAT YOU ARE,  WITH ALL THAT I AM, 2010 BEING LOVE, 2010 THE VULNERABILITY OF NATURE IN THE HANDS OF MAN, 2010 Satori: The Path To Enlightenment River Hunt - Portrait Triptych (centre panel 2006) River Hunt - The Winter of Discontent (2008) River Hunt - Untitled (2005) River Hunt - Peace (2009) River Hunt - Pierrot The Clown (2006) River Hunt - Logic is Always a Step Behind Nature (2009) River Hunt - Untitled (2005) River Hunt - Scream (2007) River Hunt - Figures (2004)

Thoughts on Identity in Art

I D E N T I T Y. Identity, identify, individual, diverse, divisional, diluted.

My work has focused on areas of Identity over the last several years, of which you will find numerous references throughout this site, taking various perspectives on how art can be seen as a reflection of identity, and indeed how identity can be seen as a reflection of the art we create.

I’ve come to understand that the process of creating art changes the artist in some way. We apply such a focus on externalising our emotion, our inner ‘vision’, that the process of looking actually changes that which we look at- an exorcism of sorts. The externalisation of thought, processed and transformed by our consciousness.

The outcome of the artist is usually for the viewer to feel something, to have a reaction to the work in some way- to disrupt the everyday patterned thinking and lodge a new idea or emotional fingerprint into that person’s experience. To achieve this, the artist must first experience that which they wish to convey, and in reality, experience a graduated array of emotions and thought as the process of creating the work progresses.

The artist ‘feels’ the work is complete at a certain stage, and often must fight logical impulses to keep working. This ‘feeling’, an emotional waypoint, is the critical moment in the works history, and must be listened for and respected if the emotional content and effect is to be conveyed with full, raw intensity.

When I think back to art that has impacted me in some way, I find that there is commonality. The work in question often caught me unaware, or disrupted my chain of thought to such an extent that IT BECAME MY REALITY for a few short moments. This communication is below the ‘logical’ level of the mind and interfaces more directly with our emotions.

Of course not all viewers would be similarly affected, the work instead lies in wait for those predisposed to its message- silently waiting to memetically hatch from its frame, it effectively has an ‘identity’ target market. Our identity, our current focus, our current priorities all affect the response, and often that response will be to walk on by, our minds filters never letting the work past the first stage of awareness. However, from time-to-time a ‘match’ wil be found, and our attention becomes attuned to the work.

Arts effectiveness is in appealing to those core human facets of identity and emotion. Everything we were, are and hope to be reflected back at us as if we are experiencing it for the first time. Identity in art is more than creating art that is personal to the artist- all art is personal to some degree. Our identity provides the ‘environment’ in which the work is created, and perhaps more significantly- defines the audience with whom the work will most intensely resonate.

River Hunt
UK Based Artist, Writer & Photographer.


2 comments to Thoughts on Identity in Art

  • this has throughly helpd me reading through this, I’m currently on my last project for a foundation year i am doing in art & design before moving on to do graphic art and design at leeds met. I have such trouble knowing when to stop “fighting that urge to carry on”… this is the first truly creative endeavour iv done since i was in school (I’m now 26) and I’m just learning the fundamentals on being an artist and how to solidify your ideas into a tangible form that the viewers will connect with and seek some kind of identity from. Im exploring identity in this project, its so vast! so many options and paths to choose from. Iv enjoyed looking through this sight and gaining some solace from the words you have written.

  • River Hunt

    Thanks Nikki, really glad you’ve found my work on identity of use, and thanks for letting me know, as it really nice to get the feedback. Best of luck, River.

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