Emily Hunt

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Ajay Sharma teaching, 2017. Photo credit: Emily Hunt.

'During February this year I traveled throughout India and spent time researching detail and ornament in Jaipur, India. While in Jaipur I attended full time classes with the highly esteemed Rajasthani painter Ajay Sharma. The daily classes were difficult, though worthwhile. I learned about mixing traditional pigments, burnishing the paper and improving my concentration in miniature painting. Ajay is an excellent teacher and he forced me to break some bad habits.

After leaving India I have settled in Berlin, Germany. I am currently undertaking a residency at the Centre for Ceramics under the guidance of Kaja Witt, who is an expert in working with cast Limoges porcelain. My new body of work uses the skills and technique I picked up from Ajay’s classes, transferring them into the technique of china porcelain painting.

Concurrently I am investigating print techniques, mining the research I conducted last year at the Baillieu Print collection. Although Renaissance engraving and Indian Miniature painting seem worlds apart, there are striking similarities. In particular, the appropriation (or copying) of representations of secular and religious narratives, as well as the attention to detail, unique cultural ornament and high level of skill and technique that is passed down from one master to another.

I am operating the largest press in Berlin at the Kunstlerhaus Bethenian to create monotypes printed on Indian silk. These new works are extensions of details from Italian Renaissance engraving. I am looking at the work of Mantuan engravers from the 16th century.

India changed the way I look at detail, ornament and architectural forms. The classes have greatly influenced my practice. In the future I aim to return to Jaipur to continue my studies with Ajay Sharma.'

Tags

artists,grantees,Visual arts

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