We take the time to catch up with BF’s Official Artist in Residence, Chris Hunt.
In October 2022, we announced a new partnership that saw NFT Artist, graphic designer and creative art director Chris Hunt become our first ever Artist in Residence. BF wanted to touch base with Chris to ask a few questions ahead of the next few months, during which the creative process will begin to capture fencing in the lead up to Paris 2024. The below questions and answers are designed to give an insight in to Chris as an artist and what is planned for the partnership.
What does an Artist in Residence mean to you?
“This means an incredible amount to me. I think it’s fantastic that British Fencing is engaging in art and technology, embracing new ways to interact and develop visual aspects of community engagement, growth and interaction.”
What are you first impressions of fencing?
“In a word… FAST! I love the graceful, yet fast and devastating strikes. I’m looking forward to donning a face mask, picking up a sword and having a go myself.”
What has your career to date been like and were there any highlights?
“I’ve enjoyed a great career in design and advertising. I’ve been lucky enough to work for some of the largest advertising agencies globally. I have also owned my own business which was set up to help companies that make a positive impact in people’s lives and the world in general.
A career highlight for me was producing a campaign for UN Women. This campaign went viral a few years ago and made a huge impact across the world, reaching over a billion people. As well as the huge success for UN Women, the campaign won awards at all major award shows around the world and propelled me to be ranked the 6th most awarded art director in the world.”
What is an NFT (Non-Fungible Token)?
“NFTs are unique digital assets that are verified on a blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Each NFT is one-of-a-kind, just like a physical work of art or collectible. The idea behind NFTs was to create a way for digital artists to have ownership over their work and to prove the authenticity of their creations. Here’s a podcast that I recorded about NFTs.”
What got you in to NFT Art?
“I’ve always wanted to produce my own artwork. I’ve been a graphic designer and art director for 20 years and my career has taken centre stage. When I discovered NFTs, I decided now was the time to produce my own work. I love the technological aspect of blockchain combined with the raw creativity of individual expression.”
For the Olympics and Paralympics, BF are going to try to incentivise participation in fencing by launching some non-monetary NFTs that people can collect for free. Do you feel this will make the art that you create more accessible to the masses?
“Absolutely, I think it’s very important for the art to be accessible to the masses. The community is so important in so many aspects and if this can help galvanise an already passionate community, then it can only be positive in driving fencing forwards.”
What is your artistic style?
Distressed collage and typography. You can see some of my work here.
What are looking for from the British Fencing community to help you capture an artistic impression?
“I’m looking for a deep dive into British Fencing. I’d like to know all about the history of fencing, their passions, as much engagement and understanding as possible. Sharing of content is very helpful and welcomed from all. I think community is vital and the more vocal and engaged, the better.”
What will the art collection look like in the lead-up to Paris 2024?
“It has yet to be determined, but at present there will be a collection of 24 pieces of art. They will be a combination of dynamic imagery mixed with a plethora of textures, colours and marks. I imagine a lot of the art will depict fast, sweeping and purposeful movement to portray the art of fencing.”
What is it about swords that captures the imagination of people?
“Wielding a sword has been a skill for thousands of years. It has helped to forge nations and has such a huge history. As time has gone by, swords have become symbols of power and influence. They have been made more decorative and artistic, designed for and by the most powerful kings and queens in history.”
Through being an Official Artist in Residence, you have also been briefed to help articulate some of our insight about our fencing community in the UK through artistic impression. Where do you start when trying to capture an audience type in the form of art?
“For me, it all starts with hearing from the community: this is where we will find out the passions that drive the fencing community, what’s important to them, likes, dislikes, what the future holds, why they are interested in fencing, their favourite athletes and why. When these insights are gathered, that will be the starting point to portrait that information in artistic form.”
If people want to follow you or ask further questions, where can they go to get hold of you?
“You can find me on Instagram (@distressed_design), Twitter (@distressed_dsgn) and email ([email protected]).”
We would welcome anyone passionate about fencing to register their interest in this project here.
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