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As a society, we often spend our time with our heads down, so burdened by our duties and responsibilities that we forget to look up. There is gold in looking up. You never know what you might see. What might inspire you, or how your life may take a different direction if you only shifted your perspective? Just like we did in our studio visit with June Hunter. We discovered so much gold, surprises, and “Really? You did that?” moments. Enjoy your read about this amazing artist and how a shift in her perspective led to art that is enjoyed by bird lovers around the world.
June shares, “I’ve always been the kind of person who will approach life as though all things are possible. I take on new boundaries and challenges with the intention that I can accomplish it. My philosophy is, if I could master knitting Fair Isle socks, how difficult could it be to build a cabin? It wasn’t not more difficult; it was just different” [she says with a giggle.] June lived in Likely for a few years and then moved to Nelson, BC. Her intention was to continue her fine wood working education and signed up for a course, but as luck would have it the instructor became ill and the course was cancelled. Not wanting to wait a year for the course to be offered again, June decided to move to Vancouver. Fate was on her side, as she met her husband Philip shortly after.
For five years June took photos of flowers, nature, and rust. She was fascinated by rust. One day in 2005, as she was in the garden taking photos, she heard a strange noise above her. She looked up to see crows flying by. “I’m sure my body made some audible creaking noise, as I changed positions, because I had been looking down for so many years. I looked up and thought, oh look, there is sky. I haven’t looked down since.” “Crows - birds in general - but crows in particular seem to be a key into the world of nature because they are so obvious, so loud, and in your face. Once you start watching them, they are so endlessly fascinating and funny that they become a “gateway drug” to all the other amazing birds in the city. In a way they are like ambassadors for the birds.”
Since then, June began looking up more often. She fell in love with crows, birds, and the skies above. After many years of photography, she decided to sell her work in Vancouver. Printing her images on wooden blocks, plexiglass and other mediums, she booked her first market. In 2005, June started to showcase her work at the craft market on Granville Island. “I loved it! It was great for getting on site and immediate market research. I was able to hear what customers really liked and what they were less fond of.” She met many customers from all over the world, some of whom are now long time collectors of her art. Over the years she has been able to have amazing conversations about crows with her followers and fans.
With our tea and biscuits enjoyed June concludes, “I feel that at all the really difficult times in my life, it has been art that has gotten me through it. Whether it was my Mom and then my Dad passing or the challenges of raising children, I could pick up my camera and turn to creativity to see me through. I could go outside and look at leaves or follow some crows around for 15 minutes, and that got me through.” June feels, "We can find our sanctuary in the creative expression. And life can be found again, in all the small moments of everyday living… all you have to do is just look up”