O ne of Britain’s most popular and beloved artists working today, Gary Bunt draws inspiration from the great canons of Modern British Art History in his delightful depictions of quintessentially British pastimes. On 17th March Sotheby’s has the great delight of offering three works by Bunt as part of the Made in Britain auction – a sale that celebrates British creativity across a number of different mediums. Ahead of the sale he told us a little more about the inspiration behind his work.
Gary Bunt: "I have loved to paint for as long as I can remember … My influences are mainly Modern British Painters, my favourites being Christopher Wood, Cedric Morris, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Eric Ravilious and Stanley Spencer."
GB: "Wood’s still lifes; portraits; his renderings of fishermen by the harbor’s edge - all executed with a simplistic quality along with a muted palette. Cedric Morris’s texture and urgency to complete a painting. I love the early landscapes of Ben Nicholson as well as his move into modernism, abstraction. Winifred’s delicacy along with her knowledge as a colourist. Ravilious and the South Downs - both passions of mine and of course Stanley Spencer. The meticulous manner in which he completed an area of a canvas at a time. Spencer is the artist whose subject matter emotionally touches me."
GB: "My own inspiration comes from country life; childhood memories; family members along with characters from the quintessentially British villages that I grew up in and still live and work today. My faith also plays an important part in all of my work."
GB: "For me Christ is in my everyday life which is why I paint Christ in our times – such as The Sermon in the Wheat Field. These faith-based paintings have been well supported by Portland Gallery [the Artist’s London gallery] and more recently by the Farmington Institute who together have organised a tour of my work across five British Cathedrals – kicking off this month at Liverpool Cathedral and continuing on to Ely, Winchester, Ripon and London."
GB: "My work has been well supported by collectors around the world for which I am humbled and extremely grateful. I hope they get as much joy from my work as I do other artists’ work. When looking at a painting by an artist such as Wood or Spencer I can really see the artist’s life within it. There seems to be a romance - a great camaraderie among a lot of Modern British Painters. In my own opinion, you can’t beat a painting Made in Britain!"