CREATING GOLD LEAF ART WITH LISA HUNT CREATIVE
Lisa Hunt Creative uses 24k gold leaf, gold hammered into gold sheets, in an eye-catching aesthetic that is prominent throughout her wall art collections. With allusions of African and Eastern textiles, Lisa’s limited-edition artwork is inspired by the art deco era and memories of her Caribbean grandmother’s jewelry. Her work explores the spatial and meditative relationships found in repeating patterns. Here’s our conversation with Maplewood, NJ-based visual artist and designer of contemporary African art, Lisa Hunt:
HOW WERE YOU INSPIRED TO USE GOLD LEAF IN YOUR ARTWORK?
Lisa Hunt Creative: Gold is a part of my memory bank from childhood through adolescence, gold bangles stacked high on the arms of my grandmother who traveled throughout the Caribbean and would wear them during visits to us during the holidays. I was fascinated by their weight, the sound of them clinking, and the warmth they conducted. When I was in middle school, everyone was wearing gold chains in the ‘80s. My grandfather gave me my first gold chain and it was everything to me! I felt quite sophisticated and loved the way it felt and looked against my skin. A gold chain was a must for “looking fly”!
HOW DID YOUR STUDIES INFLUENCE YOUR AESTHETIC?
Lisa Hunt Creative: In art school at art history class, I discovered the gilded art and artifacts present throughout the African diaspora. At the same time, I studied the art deco period which usually does not formally attribute the motifs and forms that it “borrowed” from Africa and other cultures. Also, the use of gold in the works of Gustav Klimt in the combination of his layering of patterns was a big influence at that time. Through trial and error with metallic gold ink, I wasn’t satisfied with the results. I wanted something with more luminosity and there isn’t an ink that can compare to real 24k gold leaf. The gold found in my artwork also creates a floating effect layered on top of the matte ink. These are some of the touchstones for the use of gold and gold leaf in particular in my work.
HOW DO YOU SELECT PATTERNS FOR EACH PIECE OF ARTWORK?
Lisa Hunt Creative: To date, I have created 3 different series within the Alchemy collection of Lisa Hunt Creative. Alchemy I, II, and III and Cross Sections are all progressions and explorations of the motifs... the possibilities are endless, which is what excites me about continuing the series. In regards to narrowing my focus, I’m not sure if the decision-making is a conscious one beyond what feels right for the composition. I begin by playing with the elements, and through adding and subtracting, playing with scale and color, the work starts to feel balanced and complete.
MORE ABOUT LISA’S BACKGROUND
Lisa Hunt grew up in the upstate town of Rome, New York. A Pratt Institute graduate, she pursued her dream of building a career in the magazine industry, and successfully climbed the ranks to eventually be named Creative Director of Essence Magazine. But in 2009, she pivoted towards a career as an artist to pursue more hands-on creative projects. She began what she calls her “second career”, planning to return to working in textiles. However, her exploration led her into the world of visual art and ultimately into screen printing. As an artist, she finds inspiration in the infinity of time. Lisa Hunt’s art typically depicts her interest in the eternal passing of time, visually representing it using repeating gold leaf geometric patterns in the shapes of arrows, coils, and leaves.
Hunt’s primary current artistic process requires a great deal of hands-on precision; She screenprints adhesives onto acrylic painted screens before carefully finishing the piece by meticulously applying her signature layer of gold leaf. Lisa’s exploration with screen printing has led to printing her larger scale editions with the master printers at The Lower East Side Printshop in New York.
Lisa has been featured on the cover of and in the New York Times bestseller, In The Company of Women. In 2017 she was a featured artist exhibiting at The Other Art Fair’s inaugural US fair in Brooklyn, New York. Lisa’s artwork has been exhibited at various contemporary venues including the Architectural Digest Design show in New York and Latella Gallery in Washington, DC.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM ON 54KIBO?
Lisa Hunt Creative: The Ndebele Necklace Lampshade in Emerald has been on my wishlist since I first discovered it and 54kibo about a year ago. I’ve never seen anything like it before, all the elements work so perfectly together and I can imagine it being a conversation starter installed in our dining room. To see more of Lisa’s artwork displayed, visit How To Create A Gallery Wall on The Summit.