The tale of Barry Hunt & Outback Ned



Barry Hunt is a Brisbane artist who gains inspirations from “the colours of the Australian landscape.” His debut exhibition, ‘Outback Ned’, is showing at Circle Gallery, West End from the 20th to 25th February.

Zed: Is art something that has always been a significant part of your life?

Barry: The desire to paint has been with me all my life. I entered a competition to design a sign for a real estate company when I was at school. I won it because I don’t think anyone else entered! My life goal was to begin a new career at 55….. painting. I set that goal around 30 years ago. I did not believe I could earn a living out of art at the time and would need to get a real job in order to raise a family and put my kids through college. Painting full time, would have to wait.


What attracts you to painting? And what do you gain from it?

I enjoy painting and can paint for hours, nonstop. Some paintings can be a struggle for a period of time, however I will not give up on them and push harder to achieve a result I am excited about. Once this is achieved, time disappears.


How would you describe your art?

Realism and Naive.


How do you like to experiment?

I experiment with using alternative instruments, not brushes to achieve desired results. For instance, the use of a rough cloth to manipulate paint can provide a far superior result than using a brush.


I understand you use lipstick in some of your paintings, where did that idea come from?

The idea of using lipstick came from experimenting with alternative instruments. Lipstick is actually a very easy instrument to paint with. The problem with it, is that it takes forever to dry. Matte works better. Colours are however, limited. [My wife] Janne enjoyed telling our friends I was using her lipstick.


How are you feeling in the lead up to your opening? 

This is my first show. Fortunately I have a lovely wife who worries for me.


parisWhat do you like in other people’s art? Do you find you’re attracted to art which is similar to yours?

Jeffrey Smart is my favourite artist. Although his style is realism, his work mainly focuses on industrial scenes. At this stage my work targets the Australian landscape and its native fauna.


How do you find time to paint considering your job and family commitments?

Time is always a problem. I paint in the morning and at night and weekends, testing my wife’s patience. I do it because I love to paint.


How do you seek feedback on your art? What do you do if someone gives you negative opinion?

I seek feedback through Ebay. It is a tough forum because your art never looks as good on a monitor. If I can sell on Ebay at the price I want, then I will know I have made it as an artist. Negative feedback is a part of the learning cycle.


Do you think Brisbane is a good place for emerging artists? Why?

Brisbane is probably better than Delhi in India, but not as good as New York in the USA. The internet has opened one large door for emerging artists and is the place to be.


The finer details…

Circle Gallery is upstairs at 274 Montague Road West End


Opening night is Friday 20th February – 7 to 9:30pm

Open daily from 9am to 5pm (closed Sunday 22nd February)


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