Cause I see the Light Surrounding You, so Dont Be Afraid Matthew Hunt Turner Galleries, Perth 1 - 30 June 2007
The words of a song by NZ band Evermore are the title of Matt Hunt's solo exhibition at Turner Galleries. The exhibition brings together two separate but connected bodies of work, a selection of texts on scraperboards and meteor-like boulders.
The framed text pieces hang equidistantly in a horizontal formation along the south wall of the gallery while Another, a series of boulder-like objects of varying sizes which reference meteors or space debris falling to earth, are displayed on the floor on an assortment of found objects acting as plinths, or on shelves at different heights on the wall. They do not presume to be replicas of specific meteors or rocks but mere allusions and as such they remain inherently ambiguous and randomly displaced within the gallery space. On a monitor on the floor is Hunt's chance video footage of a falling meteorite.
The origins of most of Hunt's work are very personal. At their most primitive they document the artist's own position in the world. The content of the scraperboards has evolved from daily explorations and chance associations that manifest themselves and that the artist assimilates. They are proof of someone's presence in the world, a song, a memory, a story, the smallest and seemingly insignificant details of commonplace existence. Distilled into a simple set of simple phrases the work questions how context influences, transforms and defines meaning from both a personal and universal standpoint.
A constantly shifting viewer/object relationship is implicit in Hunt's art practice. While he is unashamedly honest about being the central character of his narratives, the work is also very open to multiple readings. It provides a critical review of the community within which the artist moves yet his conceptual dialogue moves freely from the local to the international, from the personal to the universal and back again.
The meter-like objects reference a number of ideas such as chance and coincidence, objects falling from the sky reminding us that we are part of a much bigger whole. Ball Breaker and Big Daddy are the names of trucks that Matt Hunt crosses paths with while cycling to work each day. We instinctively create identities for ourselves and for the things that surround us. The naming of inanimate objects comments on one of the most common acts in our society, a way of manufacturing familiarity by labeling and classifying in an attempt to attenuate the fear of the unknown and to understand the world and our place in it.
All the works in the exhibition weave a thread between the microcosmic world that informs who we are, our personal and intimate spaces and the macrocosmic space which we inhabit but cannot see in its totality. The works come together as an intuitive assemblage, created by a process of intent using chance, risk, frankness and spontaneity, the very elements that inform our everyday existence. The interaction between these opposites gives the work its strength and Hunt's art a deeper theoretical context. It evolves out of a myopic vision of his place in the world. Yet while he begins his artistic journey as the central character whose actions, personal visions and choices construct the final visual dialogue, he generates social, popular, political references and connections that ultimately emphasise a much broader context for the work.