Timothy Hunt is a Found Object Artist
Hey Tim, I have a collection of scrap metal kitchen implements that I’d love to give you. There’s some pretty interesting stuff. let me know if you want to pick it up. (Email from Dave Loan).
One of the best things about being an artist working with found objects is ﬁnding and collecting materials. Word is out. A neighbour has passed me a broken rake over the fence, a friend has handed me a bucket of doorknobs from the trunk of her car and my family frequently brings me bits of metal found on evening walks. My workspace has become a repository for rusty, broken and discarded items, things I ﬁnd in vacant lots, or walking along the river. I made a whole series of scrap metal masks with parts found almost entirely on the roadside while riding my bicycle!
While crows are drawn to shiny objects, I guess I am the opposite. Stained wood, discoloured metal, peeling paint; it’s easier to work with something that is not precious, has its own history, that shows its age. There is an essence that can’t be scrubbed off, an authenticity that can’t be recreated without some sort of distillation, and often this quality informs the work that I do.
Because my space is limited and there is just way too much junk in this world, I’m very selective about what I accept and haul back to the studio. I’ve developed a real sense of what I can and can’t use. My radar is always on so that I am mentally breaking down the things around me to ﬁnd their usable parts . It may be something very ordinary, but during a creative burst it can become an essential piece of the puzzle.
Using cast-offs in my artwork is not something I chose to do for environmental reasons, but it is a happy by-product. Sadly, I can’t make enough art to put a dent in the mountains of junk we produce. I am nostalgic for outmoded mechanical technology, things like typewriters, cameras and pianos. Besides their beautiful design and fascinating mechanical workings, they have been built to last for lifetimes of use and not just until the battery dies or the next “version” comes out.
A few years back I made some bicycle wheel chandeliers laden with all sorts of metal bits, from ﬁshing reels to skeleton keys. The chandeliers were hanging from the trees and lit up with candles for the Ottawa Lumière Festival. During the Festival, a woman approached me and offered a small metal bell that she had been carrying around in her handbag. I took my pliers and some wire and we found a place for it on one of the chandeliers. This is the kind of experience I’m looking for when making art; a connection with people, art and history.
Timothy Hunt is an artist and Sculptor living in Ottawa. He has participated in numerous shows across Canada with his company, Mobius T-shirts, and his artwork has been shown in many local venues and Art in the Park events. For three years, Tim’s installations were featured at the Lumière Festival in New Edinburgh’s, Stanley Park. Tim has been a keen promoter of local artists as past Organizer for Urban Art in Minto Park. He is a member of the newly formed Slipstream Collective.