JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT
ELECTED ARWS 2017 & RWS 2019
Jim Hunter was born and grew up in Co Durham and first attended art school at the then Teesside College of Art. He studied painting at Winchester School of Art from 1970-73, with William Crozier as Head of Fine Art and John Bellany an influential tutor, and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1976. In many ways the most significant period of study for him was the time he spent in a studio in the Cite des Arts, Paris: from this period grew his enduring interest in modernism and the potential of abstraction.
Jim works from, and within, particular landscapes as prompts for him to make abstract images which are expressive and decorative in intent and not necessarily descriptive. He has always worked with watercolour as he likes its simplicity and purity, and the purity of response that it encourages in the act of painting. He often incorporates collage and elements of pasted paper as these allow him to keep the imagery, and its potential meaning, open and provisional.
In his paintings he has always used places as the starting point for developing his imagery, working directly from the landscape in sketchbooks using watercolour and ink. In 2005 he enjoyed a sabbatical period in Venice and his large works on paper using water-based media and collage are a direct consequence of this experience. His exhibition of Venice paintings, “A Short Grand Tour”, with catalogue text by Professor Simon Olding, toured to four major UK venues during 2007 to 2009.
Recent one-person exhibitions have included “Places” at The Slade Centre, Gillingham, 2015, and “Painterly Sites” (with Michael Griffiths) at ArtSway, Hampshire, 2016.
Jim Hunter has pursued his practice as a painter alongside his career in art education, until recently as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Arts University Bournemouth and, since 2013, Professor Emeritus of Painting.
His home and studio are in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, and his work is often based on direct responses to this unique landscape. He draws also upon his travels to places as different as Japan, India and Hydra, Greece.