Date of Lecture: 2001-11-02
British-born Tom Hunter has received considerable attention for his politically charged environmental portraits of squatters and travelers. Unlike the media’s gritty portrayal of these communities, Hunter has created seductively staged portraits, which show the dignity and beauty of his subjects. Inspired by such artists as the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer, Hunter creates contemporary adaptations of significant paintings; for example, Vermeer’s A Girl Reading at an Open Window becomes Hunter’s Woman Reading Possession Order.
“These images are how people whose homes are in converted vehicles or squats would prefer to be seen by the outside world – Contrary to what the media would have us believe, many people who opt for this lifestyle are working people who vote, pay taxes and are just as integrated in the society as anyone. For some people, especially performers and cabaret artists, it’s a professional necessity.”
Hunter’s work was included in Composure, a group exhibition at the Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto that opened October 25 and continued to December 1, 2001.