Gina Hunt- MFA Fellow- 2015-2016
Gina Hunt makes abstract paintings as an interdisciplinary platform to research the complexities of vision and the subjectivity of visual experience, manifested through the physical materials and traditions of painting. 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. Hunt allows illusion and optical phenomena to exist while exposing their parts in a very direct way.
A strong fascination with screens as mediators of light has driven her most recent body of work. While in residence at VCUQ, Gina actively researched the formal, visual, and functional components of 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. Each of these screens has the ability to create temporary interference patterns that activate our perception of space, light, and color. These patterns emerge from illumination and the filtering of light through each medium. This is propelled by her strong curiosity about the relationship between these physical spaces of light mediation (architecture and fabric) and the digital screens we consistently use to view visual information.
While in residence, Hunt’s working methods and material investigations involved theater scrim (a cotton, gauze-like fabric used as a backdrop in theater). Scrim has the magical ability to become translucent or opaque, depending on the light source. Hunt has experimented with this material extensively and developed a unique series of working methods involving hand-dyeing processes and laser-cutting. Projects utilized the three primary, additive colors of light—red, green, and blue—as a superstructure to further explore theories of color, vision, and perception. By doing this, she makes a physical, material-based analogy to the nearly intangible qualities of light.
Gina Hunt received a Faculty Research Grant from VCUQ, which resulted in a solo exhibition and two site-specific installations within the university.
Gina is strongly provoked by the potential of painting and continuing to question its possibilities and historical priorities. The research and work produced while in residence at VCUQ instigated many further questions regarding material experimentation with specific fabrics, creating installation work within architectural frameworks, and integrating laser-cutting and dyes into her painting practice. After completing the residency at VCUQ, Hunt will be creating large-scale installations with spray painted architectural fabrics. The Liquid Crystal + Polymer series has become an on-going project which will be progress into its second manifestation, v2.