CONTEMPORARY ARTS INSPIRED BY ROBERT BURNS

25 January - 10 March 2018 @ Summerhall, Edinburgh

Kenny Hunter

Born in Edinburgh in 1962, Kenny Hunter studied sculpture at Glasgow School of Art between 1983 and 1987. He has exhibited extensively in Britain and Abroad including solo exhibitions at Arnolfini 1998, Scottish National Portrait Gallery 2000, CCA 2003 , Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2006 and Tramway, 2008. Hunter has also created a number of high profile, public commissioned works in including; Citizen Firefighter, 2001, outside Glasgow’s Central Station, Youth with Split Apple, 2005, Kings College, Aberdeen and iGoat 2010 in Spitalfields, London. He has recently completed a large frieze entitled “Blackbird (the persistence of vision) for Leicester Square, London. In 2015 Kenny Hunter was given the role of Programme Director for Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art.

His work is represented by Galerie Scheffel in Germany and Connersmith in the USA.

The language of the monument and of civic statuary is the clearest artistic expression of what Karl Popper identified as historicism; that is to say, the general belief that history must have a plot, a destination, or at any rate a meaning. By articulating the historicist language of the monument within the postmodern climate of reinterpretation, my work seems, at first glance, to invoke the clarity and certainty of its stone and bronze predecessors. Yet, on closer inspection, each work appears as an open question, a homage to doubt. As the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky has said ‘the purpose of art is not to propose solutions, but to set problems in their requisite depth.

Although I derive inspiration from the past, the subject matter I use draws upon contemporary popular culture – its morals, politics and belief systems. The use of coloured plastic also serves to locate the work within the present and opens up new sets of associations.

To reiterate my works are hybrids that fuse sculptural orthodoxies with post modern culture. Their aim is to question certainties and stereotypes, introducing a variety of fact and fiction into sculpture that is descriptive but not representational of the ‘real’ world.


Kenny Hunter
Title:  Monument to a Mouse
Year: 2010
Medium: Jesmonite and paint
Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 24cm
Edition size: 15

Artist’s statement

The language of the monument is the clearest artistic expression of what Karl Popper identified as historicism; that is to say, the general belief that history must have a plot, a destination, or at any rate a meaning.

In response to this tradition – my work can be seen as an attempt to translate the longstanding political ambitions of historical public sculpture – into a revised sculptural language appropriate to the current cultural situation.

I believe that doubt is a precondition for a tolerant and civilized society and so therefore cannot subscribe to any one version of history. Hence the ambiguities, riddles and multiple meanings that exist within my art practice.

Within my work as a sculptor, skepticism takes a central role. As the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky has said ‘the purpose of art is not to propose solutions, but to set problems in their requisite depth.

To reiterate my works are hybrids that fuse sculptural orthodoxies with contemporary culture. Their aim is to question certainties and stereotypes, introducing a variety of fact and fiction into sculpture that is descriptive but not representational of the ‘real’ world.

Kenny Hunter

Burns Unbroke Visual Artists

Creative Scotland
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