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Nick Brunt's Tiny Places in the Middle of the Ocean 

Beach boy

click to enlarge Location, location, location
  • Location, location, location
Argyle Fine Art is housing artist Nick Brunt’s first solo show, Tiny Places in the Middle of the Ocean until August 4, and—much like other art shows—you can take some home with you. But—unlike other art shows—you can hang this piece of art on your sweater. Brunt is painting tiny buttons as a series for the show, which proved a time-consuming task. “I try to get a little production line going where I’m painting the same design 10 or 12 times but even that gets tough with repetition since they're all painted directly by hand,” says Brunt. “I tossed around using stencils and stuff but I think people really appreciate the handywork-ed-ness of it all.”

This go around, Brunt’s work focuses on the outdoors, nice wholesome natural settings that are a marked change from his other love, the Halifax music scene. “Along with the forest and the water I've always been very involved with music and instruments. I think a lot of kids spend their early days sketching and listening to music and letting those creative energies feed each other, so when it became time to start turning art into something more serious, one of the first avenues I looked toward was music and building artwork for bands.”

Last year for Nocturne, Brunt exhibited a collection of custom instruments that bands donated to be all arted up. “The reception was absolutely ridiculous. I actually had so many guitars and keyboards and whatever in my living room before the show that I had to start turning them down. Actually it’s pretty badass painting a guitar you know someone you know rips on regularly.” This year he plans on collaborating with the NS Public Archives on his Nocturne project.

Brunt’s current show is less musical, more pastoral. “Growing up I was always so involved with the outdoors that creating these tiny little scenes in nature and using them as another story driver in the piece was pretty natural.”

But Brunt is not moving away from shows and their ephemera. He recently won the mFest poster contest. “I am frigging ecstatic about the mFest thing. The calibre of artists we had contributing was like the tippy-top for local guys and getting voted ahead of them is both a huge honour and a guilty pleasure I could tuck myself in with at night.”

His winning entry blends both of his passions, it depicts “a little microcosm of the Halifax concert scene propped up on a stand,” says Brunt. “And of course in the ocean.”

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