Opus Resource Library
Explore Indigenous Art – Shawn Hunt
Opus Resource Library

Shawn Hunt


I’m a Heiltsuk First Nation artist from British Columbia. Generally, I do a lot of sculpture and painting but I started out in the medium of jewelry. My paintings are based on Heiltsuk history and cosmology and I describe them as neo-formline. In Northwest Coast native art you generally have a black, red and white colour palette and the black line represents the formline, which is a line that acts like a skeleton to hold all the other components in place. I play with that in new and innovative ways.

Right now I have two painting series going on. The more monochromatic one deals with formline and then the super-chromatic, vibrant one does away with it entirely: it’s a reversal of that same thing – the work focuses on the typical red shapes, only I’m using them without any form of structure, pushing them together to create collaged faces using traditional elements.


Since January I’ve been working on the paintings for my second solo exhibition with Equinox Gallery. I will likely start work on the sculptures very soon. The exhibition is in November 2021.

In the future, I do want to expand my practice a bit – go larger in scale and maybe do some public art. I’ve had a few opportunities in the past, but my head hasn’t really been in that particular space. So I guess I will be challenging myself to take on some bigger projects or maybe some editions. It’s just really hard to pull myself away from what I’m doing now plus I have a 1 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old so I’m trying to spend all of my time when I’m not working with them.


Equinox Gallery, Vancouver