Carnival artist profile: Georgemma Hunt
Georgemma is a brilliant and bright 25 year old freelance artist and architect-in-training, originally from the South of England who has lived in Liverpool for the past 2.5 years. She describes herself as a pretty light-hearted person, with a lot of love and joy for the world.
We originally met Georgemma when she reached out to us looking for casks for an artist commission, for 2021 Light Night. Georgemma remembers the project. "The guys donated four defected plastic kegs to me for an interactive sculpture piece, titled ‘Totem-ly Wasted’ that I made for Liverpool Light Night, in May 2021.
"The piece was fabricated from entirely found and repurposed materials. Totem-ly Wasted is an interactive monument that borrows from the surrealist notion of the exquisite corpse as a ground for play. Linking back to the original function of the casks, my recurring sun and moon figures are shown in a pub setting with a spread of drinking paraphernalia laid out in front of them. Each of the four casks spins in isolation and the viewer is encouraged to play and rotate each of them to achieve varying combinations of the individual parts."
Carnival Dom had a chat with Georgemma (Dom in bold italics)
You have a very original art style - can you give us a bit of insight into your technique and how you developed it.
"I’m so glad you think my style original! I’m often told that my works are ‘unmistakably made by me’ and that is something I take great pride in. It’s definitely the result of years of exploration and refinement. Ever since I can remember, I’ve used art as a form of therapy and my main expressive outlet. I can only suggest that my style is the outcome of years of everyday sketching, life drawing, architecture education, murals, canvas painting, graphic design, and so on… Together, these boil down into a unique digital technique, which I have taken great pleasure in applying to the Carnival cans."
Who are your artist influences - is it a particular artist movement or group of artists who influenced your art style?
"Hmm… I always find this question a hard one, because I don’t think I align with any one style, and my influences are so varied. I often look to the great paint masters (the likes of David Hockney, Henri Rousseau, Grayson Perry, Frida Kahlo…) for composition and colour inspiration, but I must say I think I find most my inspiration in the everyday and the special relationships in my life.
Hockney said, ‘if you see the world as beautiful, thrilling and mysterious, as I think I do, then you feel quite alive’, and I really believe I do. I think ad-hoc beauty can be found in all things if you look hard enough… the crack in a pavement, the mould growing at the back of your fridge, a shadow flickering across a blank wall… can all inspire and uplift."
You're an architect in training - tell us about this, which area of architecture are you interested in?
"I first studied an undergraduate degree in architecture at Cambridge. That was a wild and very intense experience. Next, I took a sabbatical, for which I spent most my time volunteering on eco builds and mural projects across the North America & Mexico. That was an incredible time – I learnt that I need and love to work with my hands, and that I really do belong on site, out and about, rather than bound to an office desk. On my return to the UK, I took a job as a Part 1 architectural assistant at Studio MUTT: for which I moved to Liverpool, not knowing a single soul! It was surely the best geographical/life decision I’ve made to date! I worked for them for two wonderful years. In fact, Graham, James and Alex (the directors) introduced me to Carnival, and as it happens MUTT was working on a Carnival label at the same time I was working on my first Cowshake series!
"Fast forward to now, and I’ve been studying my Masters in Sustainable Architecture at the Centre for Alternative Technology since September 2021. It’s been a very exciting ride this far. The course is based near Machynlleth in mid-Wales. We all venture to the site for one week of every month, where we are immersed in a week of lectures, workshops, practicals and more. For the remainder of our time, we study independently from home. This nomadic rhythm aligns well with my strong desire to be moving around all the time. I’d say I’ve spent the most part of the last seven months living out a suitcase, sleeping in a different bed week on week!
We started working together when you produced for us a Happy Cowshake label - since then we have seen varied and unique label designs, including the Varvar Muddler collab - from your perspective how has the label design process worked for you?
"I’ve always really enjoyed Carnival can commissions. I love that both Dom & Ade bring ideas to the table from the very start, whether that be a title, a story, a colour scheme or an emotion. We often begin with a, be that by phone or in-person meeting at Carnival where we’ll fantasise and get excited about all the possibilities for the can, which I then take away and have a stab at pulling together. I think there’s a real trust between us all, and honest feedback from all sides has always meant a favourable design can be reached pretty quickly!
I particularly enjoyed working on the ‘Dreaming of Twinships’ label – there are many visual storytelling tools in the artwork that many may not pick up on… such as the mapped coastline in the background, and the heads of the viking ships representing the Liver bird, on the left, (for Liverpool) & Billygoat Hennes, on the right (for Cologne). Zephyr, god of the West Wind, blows across the sea.
Also, it was a real pleasure working on the Varvar collaboration, 'Muddler'. The design was the outcome of a hilarious facetime conversation between myself (sober at uni in Wales) and the brewers (who were a few drinks down in Dead Crafty Brewing Company), with incredibly poor connection. Despite these conditions, I think the design achieved something very special – depicting two brewers foraging for seaweed and lemons, against a backdrop that dissects the mojito gose’s ingredients."
What does the future have in store for Georgemma?
"Very sadly I’ll be leaving Liverpool at the end of May, to be closer to the ones I hold dearest. I hope to spend the next couple of years focusing on my architecture qualification, whilst continuing to make artwork in my free time. Of course, I will be continuing a strong work relationship with Carnival from afar, and I’ll be back to visit often! Eventually, I’d like to find a way to marry all my passions in a blended, sustainable and site-based practice: one that merges architecture and art."
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