I really love animals. Not just because they are each beautiful in their own way but because animals hold a deep connection with the world around them, including us. I’ve previously written about why I choose a turtle to represent my art business (read that post here) but I’ve also dedicated a lot of my time towards painting, sketching and observing animals which you can view here.
Through my examination of the roles animals play in our lives, I’ve also spearheaded many projects through my role at the K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation that supports Canada’s wildlife and the habitats that foster a stronger, more resilient life-force.
Some of the initiatives I’ve done on my own include donating works from my personal collection towards auctions and events such as “Hummingbird” which sold at auction during SpringSong, The Heritage Centre’s fundraiser for Pelee Island Bird Observatory.
Another initiative I’m proud of is the “Keep The Fish Swimming” T-shirt I designed for The Wildlife League.
“Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause.” –Bruce Feiler
I am so honoured to have been supported by a number of amazing women over the years. Women that not only believed in me, but they also bought artwork from me. Thank you to all of the woman mentors who have helped me as an artist. Your support means the world to me!
Laurie Brown, Laura McLauchlan Jenny Knox, Susan Aharan, Brenda Bazinet, Nusa Prijatelj, Joy Gooding, Tamara Ortas, Georgia Wilder, Parris Sander, Sonia Scharf and Kelly Kylee, Maria Calandra, Brooke Lydbrooke, Dominique Laplante.
Hummingbird is an ink work on paper that I created in 2012 and will be sold for auction at the 18th Annual Springsong!
This prestigious event is a celebration of books and birds and is a fundraiser for The Heritage Centre with the help of Pelee Island Bird Observatory and Margaret Atwood. Past guest have included; Alice Munro, David Suzuki, Miriam Toews, and last year Madeleine Thien!
Margaret Atwood continues the tradition of bringing award-winning authors to our island where they are introduced by her at our traditionally sold-out banquet. This year is no exception and I am honoured to be part of this year’s weekend with guest author Steve Burrows, award-winning Canadian mystery writer, journalist, and a past recipient of a “Nature Writer of the Year” award from BBC Wildlife.
Burrows new book, A Dance of Cranes is the story of Lindy, Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune who has returned from the U.K. to the news that his brother has gone missing in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park. But even if Jejeune can find his brother in the vast, remote wilderness, keeping them both alive afterwards might prove a far greater challenge. Across two continents, the lives of Domenic and Lindy are spiralling towards a similar fate. And there seems to be nothing anyone can do to help them.
To bid on this work in support of the Pelee Island Heritage Centre, grab your tickets to Springsong before they sell out!
Hummingbird by Sarah Hunter, collage and ink work on paper, 15″ x 18″, 2012
No stranger to mentorship, Sarah Hunter has dedicated her talents to helping kids find a place for themselves in the arts.
Having worked with many youth vying for spots at the prestigious Etobicoke School of the Arts, Sarah has also supported Tess McKenzie (pictured above) in her efforts to get into the Central Tech art stream where she majored in sculpture and welding. Tess continues to make art and is now in her first year at Trent University in Psychology!
“Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause.” –Bruce Feiler
Ever wondered why turtlart is turtlart? Sarah Hunter chose the symbol of the turtle for her art practice and art business when she first started her career as a professional artist in the late 1980’s. She chose the turtle partly because of the old saying from Aesops fable of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race. Sarah wanted to grow her art work and career slowly and with intention.
The symbol of the turtle is an ancient one and is one of the oldest symbols in art. In China the turtle was seen as a symbol of uniting heaven and earth. It was seen as an invitation for blessings from both the heavens and the earth.
Turtle is a symbol of mother earth in many Native traditions and the turtle was believed to carry the world on it’s back. This is how North America came to be known as turtle Island among many indigenous cultures. The turtle is also associated with fertility, women’s sexuality and creativity.
On this page: select turtle images from Sarah Hunter’s collection. Enjoy!!
The Mothers Comb is a triptych I did after my mother’s death two years ago. I think this series is a way of processing the relationship I did have with my mother, which really improved in the last few years of her life. She made a lot of amends to me at the end of her life and we were on good terms when she died. Prior to that time, we were not close and I always felt I wanted to get close to her but couldn’t somehow. She stayed a mysterious person to me most of my life, someone I wanted to be close to but it was very difficult for her to open up and share herself with me.
Working on these three pieces inspired by Shakespeare helped me to appreciate all the theatre my dad exposed me to as a child. We were often taken to shows at Stratford and my dad put on several Shakespeare plays at Hart House theatre when he worked there in the 1970’s. I am familiar with many of the quotes from various plays… but one of his favourite plays was the Twelfth Night. All the titles for these three works are taken from that play.
The films I watched that inspired these pieces were Shakespeare in Love, Romeo and Juliet by Zeffirelli, The Agony and the Ecstasy about Michaelangelo and Brideshead re-visited by Evalyn Waugh.
Diane Kingstone is a Kindergarten teacher who met Sarah in 1982, where they spent two years at The Institute of Child Studies in Toronto, getting their teaching qualifications.
How did you come to see Sarah’s artwork?
We quickly became friends, and shared a passion for stories and art and children! I can’t honestly remember exactly where or when I saw the two pieces of Sarah’s work that I purchased, but it was a long time ago and I know that the Three Dog Night piece was also something that Sarah and I gave as a wedding present for our dear friend Heather Gilman. I’m guessing that I purchased a print for myself around the same time, and I remember wishing that I was able to buy more of Sarah’s work because I loved so many of her prints. I think I purchased the second art piece some years afterwards, but I’m not sure how many years later. At any rate, for as long as I can remember the two pieces have been in my living room.
Can you describe your favourite part of the piece? What I especially love about both Four Dog Night, and Midnight Ramble, is the use of colour. I love their dynamic richness, and the way the colours contrast with each other. I also love the texture in both pieces…they almost look like pastel drawings in places. They give me the same kind of feeling I get when I I look at really powerful children’s paintings, Sarah’s work has the same kind of innate sense of colour and line that young children often have. I love the playfulness of both pieces, they make me smile, and I have never, ever tired of either. As I said earlier, my only regret is that, when other prints of Sarah’s were still available, I wasn’t able to purchase more of her work. I remember loving so many of her prints, but these are the two that resonated with me the most and I continue to get great joy from them as their warmth and vibrancy light up the walls of my living room.