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On View

Jon Hunt

Poetics of the Konza Prairie

Just as the eye on the prairie shifts from vast expanses to the smallest detail, this animation explores distance by achieving closeness.

Jon Hunt. Poetics of the Konza Prairie, 2017. Video still.

Poetics of the Konza Prairie is based on the Flint Hills region of Kansas. The Flint Hills Physiographic Region—of which Konza Prairie is but a small part—contains between two thirds and three fourths of the remaining tallgrass prairie on the planet and this ecosystem is arguably one of the most endangered on earth. The Konza Prairie, bordering Manhattan, Kansas, is a dramatic landscape with streams, bison and deer, and cuestas formed over shallow limestone formations.

While hiking the trails, Hunt documented his observations to understand the physical, sensual, and emotive characteristics of the landscape. He began to understand the weighted space between tree canopy and the ground, the echoing space between landforms and walking trail, and the overpowering space between the prairie sky and himself. Transitioning from field work on the prairie, Hunt challenged his memories by filtering field observations back in the studio. Through printmaking, he used reflection and abstraction to engage in a different process of discovery. With animation, Hunt explored the passage of time, the passing of seasons, and a passing storm.

About the Artist

Jon Hunt is an Associate Professor at Kansas State University where he teaches drawing, design, and landscape architecture. Prior to landscape architecture, he worked as an art director and illustrator. He received a MLA from the University of Colorado Denver and a BFA from Syracuse University. His creative work utilizes mixed media, printmaking, encaustics, and digital means to support and communicate his perceptions and the genius loci (spirit of place). His work has been exhibited national and internationally.