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Archive > Nicole Hunt, The Watchful Traveller

Exhibition from 23 January - 5 February 2015

During a journey to East Africa in November 2010, Nicole Hunt re-established her love of drawing. She completed some preliminary sketches of the Kenyan landscape and its people and wildlife, then gave most her pencils and paper away to local children who had no school supplies and almost nothing to call their own. She concentrated on photography during the latter stages of her trip and when she returned home to Sydney she had a renewed love of conservation and wildlife and a wealth of photographs from which to draw inspiration.

In 2011 Nicole entered the Blacktown Art Prize in 2011 for the first time. Nicole was selected as a finalist for exhibition for western Sydney’s premier annual art prize, from over 500 entered works, from over 300 artists, at her first attempt. ‘For the Birds’ was a colour pencil portrayal of the NSW Central Coast wild pelican feeding that occurs each day on the foreshore at The Entrance, NSW. She subsequently made a series of pencil drawings depicting her experiences at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya, which rescues and raises orphaned elephant calves before returning them to the East African wild. In 2012 Nicole showed three of these unframed works at the Brunswick Street Gallery in Fitzroy, Melbourne in its annual Small Works exhibition. All three works sold from exhibition. That same year she completed a pencil drawing of nine elephants from her Kenyan photographs entitled ‘Family’ which contained both adults and juveniles from the Samburu and Masai Mara herds. ‘Family’ was selected as a finalist in the Hunters Hill Art Prize 2012 and was sold at exhibition. Nicole then completed a companion piece to that work featuring the Kenyan giraffes which was selected for exhibition in the Hunters Hill Art Prize 2013 and was also sold. She later completed a similar work at a buyer’s request and was again selected as a finalist for exhibition in the Blacktown Art Prizes of 2012 and 2013.
Nicole has since travelled to Vietnam (2013), the United Kingdom and France (2014). She completed a number of pencil and charcoal drawings of the Vietnamese landscape, and in Paris finished more than 50 small ink sketches of the city, most of which were completed on location. Her travels have continued to inform and inspire her art and gave rise to her first solo exhibition ‘The Watchful Traveller’ held at the Brunswick Street Gallery.

Nicole works primarily in pencil, charcoal and ink to exaggerate tonal elements and the lived environment, but does work in colour and watercolour depending on the subject. She works mostly on site and also off location using photographs and memory to recreate the scenes depicted and the emotional impact of those images.