David Hunwick

David Hunwick

David Hunwick - Rites of Spring (Aluminum, Steel, Cement) & The Gatekeeper (Steel, Resin)

The two works displayed by David Hunwick this year perfectly showcase his versatility and breadth of subject matter. Working in a variety of mediums, his subjects are wildly different. Both though, are wonderfully realized - appealingly demonstrating the extremes of his always-inventive mind vis-à-vis the subjects at hand.

The Victoria sculptor presented the starkly powerful Rebirth - a steel and resin replication of a blue whales ribs, rendered life-sized (12 feet tall) and perfectly balanced - here in 2014. His return after a four-year absence sees two fine sculptures that are easily identifiable as his, even though they are markedly different.

Rites of Spring is whimsical, uplifting and joyful. Featuring a bevy of one of his favourite subjects - hares - the four and a half foot sculpture displays seven multi-hued rabbits intoxicated by the end of winter. Most cavort with abandon, twitching noses raised high to the enchanting spring air. They prance on hind legs, forelegs raised and ears flattened back in pure exuberant delight. One is slightly more dignified, lazily scratching a forepaw while preening in the musk of the new season. Another lets it all hang out, rolling ecstatic on his/her back legs akimbo.

It is a lovely, evocative work that embodies the enchanted freeing feeling - the promise of spring, new life and warmer days ahead - all animals’ experience, and relish in. Hunwick's brightly toned hares are animated, full of motion. The circular dance is deliberate - "a rite of passage that all must pass through", as he notes.

Contrasting Rites of Spring's lightheartedness, The Gatekeeper is an imposing, impassive, mythical being that "is a silent witness, a messenger poised between the spirit and carnal realities that shape our perception of human existence."

Two sets of broad, elaborately feathered wings, one set protruding upwards from the shoulders and opening above the head, the other running down from the muscular beginnings of arms and joining symmetrically, flank a human-like male torso. In glorious gold-green tones, one half is striated, the other smooth. Helmet-like markings cover one half of the bald head and single voided eye (the other staring); abdominal muscles ripple above the stark juxtaposition of the steel support pole.

The Gatekeeper is sombre and arrestingly formidable in its statuesque, awe-invoking persona that looms - large and ever-present - somewhere between the human and spirit worlds. While it is a sharp counterbalance to the undeniable pleasures found in Rites of Spring, both works showcase Hunwick's talent as a sculptor with superb figurative skills and great imagination.

Educated in England where he studied as a teacher in Art and Design, Hunwick immigrated to Canada in 2001. He continues to pursue his dual passions of sculpting and instruction, teaching at various institutions throughout British Columbia and Alberta over the years, as well as regular summer stints in Pietrasanta, Italy as part of the Sculpt Italy program he founded. It offers 10-days of sculpture immersion and workshops with four professional sculptors along with marble studio and bronze foundry touring. Currently, he teaches sculpture at Brentwood College in Mill Bay.

In 2008, he established The Sculpture Studio, which specializes in sculpting, mold making, and casting for other artists, organizations and museums. It serves as the vehicle for the many public and private commissions - located around the world - he has completed in his 35 years as a sculptor. Hunwick also serves as the vice-president of the Vancouver Island Sculptors Guild.


Artist's Sculptures