Interview with The Artists: Gillian Hunt

1)  Who are you and what do you do?
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I am a Photographic Artist i.e. I don’t do weddings, corporate etc rather I take artistic images of flora. To support the starving artist side of me I work alongside my Photographic Artist husband doing printing and framing for ourselves and contracts for other artists. I am also the Membership Secretary of Perthshire Open Studio and work with Fortigall Art on their SocialMedia. On the non creative side we also have a busy holiday cottage 🙂
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More recently I have been approached and signed up by an American Licensing Company. My first License was sold last week and it looks as though I may possibly have another sale in the pipeline.
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2) What is your process?
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My process is twofold. I spend many hours walking around where I live and photographing the flora. I did a four year study of the Rosebay Willow herb and produced a body or work called the Fairy Ballet. I also grow flowers from seeds as I get to build a relationship with them and buy growing plants from our local garden centre. The are all potted up and grown on our first floor decking. We have a wild wildlife area surrounding us and the rabbits, ducks a deer eat any plants I try to grow in the ‘grounds’.
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Each day in Spring Summer and Autumn I study the plants and the light – and when it feels right I spend hours taking images from many different angles with different lenses. I also introduce ‘other elements’ during the shoot to bring in the Enchanted Forest effect which is currently what I am working on. Once the images are taken I then choose the ones to go forward. I then spend many happy hours with my flowers in photoshop and with my drawing tablet. Once I am happy (and like all artists I struggle with ‘when do you stop’) they are printed. This year I am bringing in new elements to the printed work – to highlight the ‘glints’ you would see on the living flowers.
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3) If you walked into a shop/gallery and saw your work for the first time as a customer, how would you describe it?
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I would say my work is different, it has a ‘painted’ feel to it. The images are usually bright and colourful although some are more edgy and they do grab the attention. The images are there to provoke reaction and are not stock shots of flowers. I have had it said to me that I take Macro Flowers to a whole other level!!!
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4) Did you have a ‘non-creative’ life/career before doing what you do now and how did it compare?
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My working career includes working in a library, living and working in a hotel for a year in Scotland in the early 70’s – called the Ardeonaig Hotel. I came back to London after that and started my 15 year long career on the technical side in Broadcast Television. I worked in the edit suites of post production and also with the studios during the productions – I have a few tales to tell about celebrities. What happened in the studio didn’t stay in the studio it made it on to the Christmas tape!!! A tradition across TV. I loved working in TV until the money men got hold of it. I left when I was pregnant with our first child. I ran a children’s clothing company for a while, once both children were toddlers, selling seconds and end of lines at parties and play groups. The I pursued a writing career writing Children’s books and had some success. I also trained as a Reflexologist – practising for eight years..Then we moved to Scotland with the family and I stared my career letting out mine and other people’s holiday cottages. At the same time I did my Relexology. We are still doing renting out our cottage along side our creative careers. I did also train as a counsellor. I have a deep interest in mental and physical health. In the end though the creative side of me won.
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I LOVE what I do now and wouldn’t want to go back to anything I have done in the past.
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5) Apart from your hands, what is you favourite tool or material to work with?
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Obviously my camera. But I love the feel of paper and always work with textured papers. I also work with paint brushes, glitter and now crystals. Plus I love working with wood for my frames and the stains and waxes we mix and apply. I also love my drawing tablet and pen which is key in most of my work!
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6) Is there a different medium/method of art/craft that you’d like to give a go?
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I would love to be able to paint and draw, but despite the fact that I am told everyone can draw – I don’t feel I can.
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7) What visually inspires you?
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I am always drawn to bright colours of nature whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter. Oddly though when I working on my drawing tablet – I have specific films on in the background and that seems to inspire how my images grow.
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Gillian Hunt

Magical Enchanted Forests

Growing up I often felt that I somehow didn’t quite fit – and wasn’t interested in the usual games of children.

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Instead I found a great deal of joy just spending time in the woods and fields that surrounded where I lived – spending time looking at plants and animals and insects. Also managing to cause disasters when my caterpillars and stick insects got out of control and caused mini insect plagues. Here though I found a totally and utterly absorbing land full of wonder and magic. Somewhere special where I always felt I belonged without question. Somewhere there was no judgement, no pressure, no time limits. A place where I could just exist and ‘be’.

This ‘communing’ with nature has continued throughout my growing up and into my adult life. I am lucky enough to now spend time every day with the flora and fauna where I live in Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands, either just being with it all, studying it, talking to it and when the time and the light is right photographing it.

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Nature in all its year round glory is my muse and through it I find that I am able to explore and express myself – both in the light and through all shades of emotion to the deepest dark . . . The plants I find and the seeds I grow transform into magical Enchanted Forests that I am able to explore in minute detail and then in turn I am able to share what I see and feel with people who are ‘moved’ by my images and what those images inspire in them… Currently exploring my ‘dark’ phase!!!

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Phone number – 01567 820990

Address – The Steading, Wester Lix, Killin, Perthshire, FK21 8RD