Harry Bunce’s practice includes painting, screen-printing, collage, stencilling, street art, transfer printing, poster design and reclamation. We speak with the UK-based artist about the British countryside, his latest work and looking forward to the rest of 2018.
A: How does the British landscape and its flora and fauna affect your work? Is there something specific about the Hampshire countryside that inspires you?
HB: I think the environment will inevitably flavour your work to some degree. I grew up in a British rural environment, and was taught to love and respect it, so it’s always there somewhere in my work. If I was from a Japanese city for example I’m sure the work would look different.
The bit of Hampshire I’m from has chalk streams and rolling valleys, the ground is full of chalk and flints and it feels sort of ‘open’ compared to were I now live in Somerset. I now really like using chalk paint because I have an odd connection with chalk.
I would also say the people have inspired me; someone from the countryside will generally tell you what they really think about a piece of art and they can be quite conservative, so you have to be strong.
A: Where are you happiest – in the studio or the countryside?
HB: My studio is in the countryside, so I’d better be very happy.
A: How do your previous studies in Fashion and Textile Design inform your processes in the studio?
HB: Honestly, not much that I’m aware of. I do sometimes start to think of repeating an image like you would for a textile design but I resist it.
A: The Sorry… project has thus far included painting, screen-printing, collage, stencilling, street art, transfer printing, poster design and reclamation. Is the Listen collection the latest phase of the project? Will you explore the project further?
HB: No – Listen is basically a screen-print piece. Sorry… is an openended project and yes, I’m keen to get the next stage underway. I’m looking at some very interesting processes.
A: Thinking beyond Sorry… tell us about the new Shot series.
HB: A mini series of three pieces entitled Rural Resistance; a shot across the bow of urban sprawl, erosion of natural habitat, fracking, HS2, Hinkley Point, intensive farming, light pollution, air pollution, water pollution, fly tipping, littering, increased traffic, badger culling, deforestation, hedgerow removal…on and on. Vive la résistance!
A: As part of a busy year, you will exhibit your work at the Affordable Art Fair London Hampstead – which pieces will you show?
HB: I have a great relationship with Bristol-based Clifton Fine Art who are taking some pieces to Hampstead. They will be showing Bedlam’s Copse which actually takes its title from a dark area of woodland on the edge of the Hampshire village I grew up in.
A: What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
HB: One thing I’m particulary looking forward to is Upfest in Bristol in July. It’s Europe’s biggest Street Art festival, I will be attempting to introduce a little bit of the countryside!
Upfest Festival 2018 will take place 28-30 July. For further information, click here.
The work of Harry Bunce appears in the Artists’ Directory in Issue 81 of Aesthetica. To pick up a copy, visit our shop: www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop
1. Saint. Part of the St George series. Published 2018 as an edition of 67 worldwide.
2. SORRY…#7. Mixed media (brush, aerosol, sponge and rag painting/screen print) on 315gsm Heritage White paper.
3. Big listen. Mixed media (reversed brush and aerosol painting/screen print) on recovered 9mm birch plywood panel. Produced 2018 as a variable edition of 12 worldwide.
4. Field Commander. Part of the Rural Resistance series. Mixed media (archival print with .410/12 bore shotgun traces) on base of 300gsm German etching paper, each one unique. Produced 2017 as a variable edition of 60 worldwide.
5. Bedlam’s Copse. Mixed media (brush and aerosol painting/screen print) on recovered 9mm birch plywood panel. Produced 2018 as a variable edition of 45 worldwide.