Kwami Hunte was born on September 10, 1978 in Bridgetown, Barbados and is currently pursuing his Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the Barbados Community College after completing an Associate Degree in Fine Arts with Credits. In 2013, he won the “Emerging Leaders in The Americas Programmed Award” from The Canadian Bureau for International Education (2012), and attended St. Lawrence College in Canada. Kwami has won several awards at the local level from the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (N.I.F.C.A).
This artist has been painting since (2008) and can be described as a Photo Realist. The renowned ‘masters’ Michelangelo Caravaggio and Rembrandt as well as local artists Coral Bernadine, Omawale Stewart, Ras Aykem and Wayne Branch have influenced this style. Kwami creates work, which explores various media but prefers oils on canvas, adding reliefs, to create two-dimensional pieces. Presently, this has become one of his trademarks through his investigation.
Recently he has developed an interest in photography, film, and sculpture where he tries to integrate these elements to produce his masterpieces. The vibrancy of the Caribbean with its history, myriad colours and people is reflected in his artwork. Thus, it is not surprising, that his themes include Caribbean flora and society, Barbadian culture and Heritage, and the Atlantic slave trade.
His work has been exhibited at The Bridgetown Town Art Gallery (Sheraton Centre, Barbados) Tamarind Cove Hotel (St. James Barbados), St. Lawrence College Gallery, (Canada), Brockville Art Gallery (Ontario) and the Spirit Bond during “Black History Month” (2014) (Bridgetown, Barbados). These priceless works of art also adorn homes in North America and the Caribbean.
I am exploring the spectrum of flowers. This beautiful botanical garden, which consist of an on going series is being investigated through the oil medium, molding paste, gauge wire, and silicone on canvas. My objectives are to capture tropical flowers and plants; exposing their true beauty, bringing an oasis of vibrant colour and creativity to the viewer.
The research is solely based on Plein-air painting and photography by me, which I closely observed nature and flowers, showing how they bloom in their natural habitat. The use of insects, creatures and any other elements are intentionally done to convey an illusion of atmospheric reality.
I am influenced by this subject matter through my mother who was a horticulturist. She exposed me to nature and a cauldron of flowers, leaving me more appreciative to nature’s beauty, which exists in a distinct backdrop, taking that artificial arrangement which seems to appeal to most lovers of flowers.
In addition to this series of work, I am investigating the journey of the Atlantic slave trade. This Mono Chromatic piece entitled: “Mother of our children bearer of life” was solely done to pay tribute to women of the African Diaspora. It encapsulates their spirituality, psychological and physical journey which they faced throughout the years. This piece was influenced by local calypsonian “Adonijah” in his classic song.
These are on going investigations, which I try to epitomize, through the awareness of any media to capture the viewer’s attention.