“I think art is most powerful when it poses questions, not when it gives the viewer the answers.”
My name is Shawn Hunt and I am an artist of both Heiltsuk First Nations and European Canadian decent. As a person of mixed heritage, I have always been interested in the space where these two cultures come together, the space that I occupy. I have trained as a carver, a jeweler and as a painter. I have learned traditional design from my father, but I also have a degree in Fine Arts. I have also studied as an apprentice with Coast Salish artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun in painting. I don’t feel that my work fits neatly into one specific category. It is not exclusively conceptual, traditional, contemporary, cultural or craft. Instead, I feel as though my work has elements of all of these categories. It is both ancient and modern at the same time. I am constantly seeking to push the boundaries of the Heiltsuk art form. My goal has always been to open up dialogue and create new discussions challenging the viewers perceptions about native art and native people. I deal with political, anthropological, or art historical subject matter. In subverting or remixing these categories I hope to incite a response. I like the idea of art being like a catalyst, or a flash point. I think art is most powerful when it poses questions, not when it gives the viewer the answers. My goal is to make the viewer think.
Shawn Hunt is a Heiltsuk artist working in Sechelt, B.C.