Owain Hunt (born, 1994) is a British painter currently based in Bristol, United Kingdom. His paintings contemplate the transience of memory and life. His subjects are the meaningful people and places in his life.
Working observationally from his friends and family, every painting emerges from a shared, fleeting existence:
“Painting people […] is a good way to get to know someone in a situation I have control over, and the outcome is a social document with my reflections embedded and obscured. So, that is one side of it; painting people is a way in which I can autonomously engage with the outside word. The other is that I just have an unrelenting existential question hanging over me. I find it very hard to accept that life has little meaning so I try and seek purpose. Self-portraiture is the most enriching medium I have found to abate that feeling; of life lacking meaning. When I no longer want to confront those thoughts head-on, I am very fortunate in that I can still paint people other than myself because I have so many family members. In this way I suppose I am drawn to painting people as a form of self-scrutiny.”
Processed through paint and contorted by fragile memories, these experiences evoke reflective, often melancholic images:
“when someone sits in front of you and you have a conversation with them, something dynamic ultimately emerges; I react to the sitter’s reactions to me, or the subject of conversation, and to my life circumstances. Thus the work is both reflective, and a self-reflection; It is a social commentary, but it is also autobiographical.”
Hunt has exhibited with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (2019, 2020), The Royal Society of British Artists (2019, 2020), The Royal Institute of Oil Painters (2019, 2020) and is a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters. His work belongs to private collections in The United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia and the United States.
The third eldest of ten children, Hunt’s path towards becoming a professional artist was unconventional; he honed his practice whilst studying for degrees in Economics and History from the University of Bristol, reading, observing and experimenting between lectures.