The Rustification of Henry Thomas Brown by Andrew Thomas Hunter
“Many of us returning were surprised and grieved to hear of the death of Brown, the furnaceman, who has held the position for several years and was generally liked and respected.”
The Mitre, Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec, Volume IV, No. 1, page 8, October 1896
The Rustification of Henry Thomas Brown eBook series was produced to accompany, and extend the narrative of, an exhibition of the same name at the Foreman Art Gallery, Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec, CANADA. They capture the playful mix of fact, fiction and personal narrative that is typical of Andrew Hunter’s work. The publications include images and texts drawn from the exhibition and research project which is based on the obscure life of the university’s former “furnaceman” (Henry Thomas Brown) and Hunter’s attempt to reconnect Brown with the history of the university and to explore Brown’s continuing spirit presence in the community that Hunter believes continues to cause unfortunate consequences.
Published September 2009
Andrew Hunter has produced exhibitions, site projects, publications and writings for institutions across Canada in the United States and Europe. At the core of Hunter’s work has been the exploration of the holdings of public institutions (museums, art galleries, libraries and archives), private collections, local history and national myths. At heart, Hunter considers his work to be an elaborate form of storytelling, engaging collections and history as a source for narrative play. Working in a gray area between fiction and non-fiction, he draws on such models as Truman Capote’s concept of the “non-fiction novel” and Jorge Louis Borges’ playful twists on the academic essay. The methods and processes of the museum/archive (forms of display, cataloguing and dissemination and accessibility) inform the structure of many of his works.
Currently the Director of RENDER, a unique arts based research and presentation center at the University of Waterloo (Canada), Hunter will begin a new position as Director of the DodoLab (a joint community/creative research program of the Musagetes Foundation and UW School of Architecture Cambridge) in January, 2010. Since 2008, he has taught in the Curatorial and Critical Studies program at OCAD University (Toronto). Hunter continues to work independently as an artist, writer and curator. His innovative thematic and fiction-based museum projects have been presented at the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery (Concordia University), Museum London, Art Gallery of Alberta, Mendel Art Gallery, The Banff Centre, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Yukon Arts Centre, University of Toronto Arts Centre, the Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik (Croatia), among others. His project Lalla Rookh: A Poetic Archive was commissioned by Proboscis and Deborah Smith as part of Navigating History. Hunter has received numerous grants and awards from The Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council and received the Western Canada Magazine award for writing on arts and culture.
Andrew lives in Dundas, Ontario with his wife Lisa, daughters Maggie and Claire, dogs Penny and Nigel and the ever-present spirit of his late dog Roger. He continues to struggle to be a competent banjo and mandolin player.
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