Bruce Hunt

Terra Vermelha (Red Land)

The roots of the New Zealand landscape have always intrigued me. Magnificent and mysterious, folded and twisted architectonic structures— the distinctive colours, textures and ethereal light that plays on these structures. These ingredients have provided the nourishment for my art for over 30 years. Paint, brushes and canvas have been my tools to communicate my interpretation of the landscape.

Now the roots that intrigue me are the cultural and family influences of my Brazilian partner. The personal relationships, affinity for place, habits, and traditions, that make a country or village one's true home have provided the ingredients for a journey of discovery through Brazil. This time, the camera has been my tool to communicate my interpretation of the Brazilian cultural landscape.
Terra Vermelha represents a personal journey. It begins in a small rural town in the Northeastern state of Piaui. A collection of images portrays the Brazilian theatre of life. They describe a simple existence focused on transforming the land into food and a strong sense of community encompassing religion, family, hard work and celebration. They are set against the backdrop of an arid and stubborn landscape punctuated with pockets of lush green where hazy hamlets reside. Rugged and dusty red dirt roads link and support these communities, all under the veil of a towering sky. Intergenerational contact is constant, respectful and tender. The family is all important. The camera has captured a place rich in life, love and death.

Brazilians are shaped by migration. Those who took a leap of faith travelling from close-knit rural areas of Northeastern Brazil to the sprawling urban environment of São Paulo went in search of greater opportunity with the hope of escaping poverty and drought. They took with them unique attitudes and the culture of the sertão to other regions of Brazil.

Underlying this flavour of life and inextricably linked to family exists the concept of saudade. A term that describes an emotional state of longing for things missed—someone or something, family, homeland— things to which one feels connected but are now elsewhere or gone forever. This sense of absence or melancholy is an elusive state that seems to reside concurrently with happiness and gratitude for what one once had and for what one now has. It seems that saudade is an important part of a Brazilian’s sense of place and identity.  

Bruce Hunt 2016
Using Format