Meet our first artist in residence, whose latest work is a love letter to our very own stretch of coastline, as a way of re-focussing her connection to this ancient corner of Cornwall.
Written by Eve Hunter-Mann
Q&A With Shaunna Hunnard
Meet the artist
Cornwall-based artist, Shaunna Hubbard, has a background in fine art, and has recently completed her studies for this at Falmouth University. Shaunna's work is reminiscent of warm summer days, vibrant fruits and vivid coastlines; she refers to it as being inspired by "a summer state of mind".
Shaunna wants her work to catch the audience's eye with a gentle radiance that claims their attention, then holds their gaze with a soft lustre reminiscent of a still serenity allowing the audience to pause, observe and enjoy. One of the main focuses of her practice is capturing the captivating vibrant interplay of light and colour and the light-hearted imagery that's inspired by lazy summer days and they're uplifting effect on her audience. She says, "with my paintings, I love to chase my hedonism with intention, I want to allow my audience the pleasure of being somewhere else, somewhere reminiscent of a midsummer’s afterglow that in itself acts like a of metaphor for a moment of bliss”.
We're also doubly excited to have Shaunna exhibit this month as she's already part of the Bedruthan and Scarlet family, having recently joined our Create team. She can frequently be found in our shop, hosting crafternoons, and even running our impressive selection of workshops and Sunday art club. We caught up with Shaunna as she was setting up in the Lanai to find out a bit more about her inspiration, art heroes, and love of all things colourful...
What inspires you and your art?
I’d say the main themes that inspire my work are escapism, summer, hedonism, and wellness. I love the idea that I am taking the audience somewhere else, somewhere beautiful. And where better to showcase this than at Bedruthan as summer fast approches! I want the audience to feel uplifted by capturing the captivating vibrant interplay of light and colour and the light-hearted imagery that's inspired by lazy summer days. The place and the world I live in and the things around me every day, play a big part of my inspiration which is why I am heavily influenced by the pop art movement. I relate to this and love how the artists from this movement strived to say that art can be drawn from any source and there is no hierarchy to disrupt it. Uncomplicated subjects are important for creating a stillness with a sense of calm. I also like to weave in a sense of light-heartedness and fun. I think I do this when I gain inspiration from colours and vibrant patterns, I am inspired by things that bring me delight and want to be able to allow my audience to feel the same. To be able to invite them to appreciate the enjoyment of the everyday. Which has led me to a phrase that I always come back to, one that inspires the foundation of all work that I create - ‘Joie de vivre’, which literally means an exuberant enjoyment of living and the small joys around us every day, that sometimes aren’t always appreciated. I want my work to celebrate this, always.
What colours represent your work the most?
I love all colours, especially more vibrant fun, candy-like pallets, almost like jewel colours. They're so rich and electric, I love to weave them in my paintings as accents. I feel like they demand your attention to mesmerise you. Bright orange, light aquamarine, magenta, and fuchsia are all colours I am drawn to. I just feel like they emulate a lust for life.
Do you have a favourite location that inspires your work?
It’s really hard to not be inspired by the town you live in. Newquay and Cornwall have an amazing surf culture, creative lifestyle, and easy going way of life, endless coastlines and dreamy waterscapes. They have a luminous aura that is so hypnotising. Even though I’m not originally from Cornwall, I feel like I have a big affinity with this place and feel so lucky that I get to enjoy it all the time.
Who is your biggest inspiration in terms of artists?
So many people I wish I could count them on my hand! Old masters like Henri Matisse, who create art about serenity and balance and celebrate that without an apology. More contemporary artists like Sari Shyrack, Sarah Bahbah, Katy Jade Dobson, and Marcelina Amelia who celebrate a vivacious pallet within their practice in the most wonderful way.
Which materials do you mostly enjoy working with?
Painting is my favourite, I work with both oils and acrylics but out of the two, oils are my number one. I just love the consistency and how buttery they are. They have a long drying time as well which allows me to be contemplative in the way that I move the paint around the surface, it allows me to take my time with the paint. I tend to start with acrylic base to build up a colourful ground then work on top with oils.
What does "summer state of mind" mean to you?
When summertime arrives, the living is meant to be easy. Sun-kissed skin, the days are longer and brighter and filled with adventure. It’s taking time off at home, a time to breathe. Lazy days and melting dreams, watching the flowers in full bloom. It’s a time to kick back, relax, recharge, and feel a little bit lighter. All of these things are a symbolic of a way of thinking I like to use all this imagery as a metaphor to represent a positive calm, open, vibrant, mind. Free from worry. Which was I want my art to emulate.
Meet Shaunna and watch her work come to life on her latest series in the Lanai at Bedruthan 26th - 30th March 2022.