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Yvonne Elston
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ICIA Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts
University of Bath,
Claverton Down,
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Flowers 'rescued' from graveyards
Flowers 'rescued' from graveyards
Barb Hunt
Barb Hunt

Press Release - 15 September 2005

Transience exhibition: Preview - tonight

First UK solo exhibition by Barb Hunt
Transience: Thursday 15 September to Friday 14 October 2005

Award-winning Canadian artist Barb Hunt, highly regarded in her home country, presents her first solo UK exhibition at the University of Bath’s ICIA Art Space 1 from Thursday 15 September to Friday 14 October 2005.

Barb’s installation reflects a long-term interest in the rituals that surround death and mourning, particularly those of Newfoundland where she lives.

Transience is presented in conjunction with the 7th International Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal which takes place at the University this week. Barb delivers a talk, open to all, about her work.

Flowers appear to cascade down the gallery walls. Made from fabric, they have been collected by the artist who is compelled to ‘rescue’ the flowers as they blow out of graveyards in the constant Newfoundland winds. In her studio, the repeated process of carefully disassembling, washing and sorting by colour and size almost becomes a ritual in itself.

Barb’s work is a response to a fast-paced society where mourning is not easily manifested. There is little place for rituals that mark the healing of wounds during times of sorrow. In Newfoundland, it is common practice to give flowers from the grave to family members to take home after a funeral. The artist echoes this by printing small cards with a single flower to take away as a ‘souvenir’ of the exhibition.

Barb’s previous work has explored war – she worked with various forms of camouflage pattern, to render anonymous uniforms extrovert and feminine. In another piece Barb knitted replicas of antipersonnel landmines in shades of pink, making them uncannily attractive and domestic. Barb has exhibited widely across Canada and the USA, and is the recipient of many awards and grants, including the Canada Council for the Arts. She has also carried out research in residencies in Canada, Paris and Ireland. She currently teaches sculpture and drawing at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Exhibition: Admission free, open weekdays 10am-5pm, ICIA Art Space 1

Exhibition Preview: Thursday 15 September, 6pm-7.30pm, ICIA Art Space 1

Conference: 7th International Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal, 15-18 September, University of Bath. A multi-disciplinary conference, a collaboration between the University of Bath’s Department of Social and Policy Sciences and ICIA.

Talk by Barb Hunt: Sunday 18 September, 2.30pm, ICIA Arts Theatre. Barb gives the background to her exhibition and other work, exploring relationships between death, mourning, gender and recuperation. Admission free, all welcome, book in advance on 01225 386777.

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