I am a sculptor exploring the relationship between culture and form.

My practice lies in the tradition of wood-carving. My work is about life – a response, an exploration, an inquiry. I work with local wood and I am interested in how people engage with the vegetation that grows around them. Cultures and their traditions inspire me the most. I believe that traditions in making as well as traditions grounded in contemplation or other wisdom practices are the elements that hold people together and weave cultures into a bigger tapestry. Now living in Europe, with family in West-Africa and having studied in Japan, these are the threads that I see are most visible in my work.


What is your favourite wood?

My first choice is always to work with locally grown, sustainably sourced and non-endangered species. If I had to name one tree it would probably be Wych Elm, it has a lot of character in the way that it grows. It has streaks of green when fresh, warm brown hues otherwise, and it dries well. This was also the first piece of wood I picked up – more by chance than anything else, just after finishing Art University. So it marks a special time in my life.

Do you prefer working with abstraction or figuratively?

I go through phases and I have also made works that combine both. Personally, I do not like to make a strong distinction between one or the other.

Where do you get your wood from?

I keep my eyes open, talk with people and have been very lucky to be offered wonderful woods to work with. It helps that trees grow in most places so wood is more readily available than many other materials sculptors turn to.

Do you take commissions?

Yes. A recent commission involved working with a much loved but dying tree in someone’s garden. After getting to know the type of tree and the owners, I created a sculpture that has a place in their living room. See No Enemies.

Do you do site specific work?

Yes. I particularly enjoy opportunities where I get to work with trees on the land they grew on. See In Hortō Sum, a site-specific sculpture for Scottish Sculpture Park Caol Ruadh.

Do you do commercial work?

Yes. I am happy to hear about any project involving wood. I have done bespoke furniture carving projects as well as simple restoration.

Do you teach?

Yes. These are always enriching times when I get to go out to share and exchange ideas.
I enjoy working with students one-to-one and have broad experience teaching groups in more formal art-educational settings. Further information is provided in my CV. Enquiries welcome.

Are there carving tools you can recommend?

For my teaching I am supported by the renowned Austrian tool manufacturer Stubai. Otherwise, I have a great mix of tools from the various countries in which I have worked. I do have my favourites, but these might be down to personal choice and always relate to the specific project. Please come and visit me in my studio in Delft (NL) to have a hands on chat and, perhaps, a cup of tea, for a more detailed answer.

Are you excited about digital technology?

Whilst these tools are exciting and I do explore them on occasions my approach to form happens through my physical engagement with the material. Wood responds best to hand tools, so you will mostly find me working with them in the ‘old fashioned way’.

How did you come to work with blind and partially sighted audiences?

I keep watching people being drawn to touch my work. Sometimes people’s hands land on pieces without considering the exhibition context of ‘do not touch artwork’. I know through my own process of making that hands can see things differently from the eye: the body’s tactile relationship to form seems to be more of an immediate dialogue. I ensure, as best I can, that my exhibitions are set up in a way that people are invited to touch work. I naturally extend this invitation out to blind and partially sighted audiences. For more on In Touch Tours please see my CV.

How did you get into sculpture and working with wood?

I have liked working with material and being outside up on trees from early in my life, but always thought I would become a painter. It was the colours and lines in paintings that held my gaze. At Art University I was very fortunate to have incredible teachers in both the Art and the Design department who supported me in bringing my aspirations and skills together. At that time, I also met a stone carver who inspired me to be brave enough to pick up a gouge. Despite the unknown, working on my first carved piece felt like home.

Teresa Hunyadi works with wood on the most immediate level, cutting, sculpting, honing and shaping her material with reverence and imagination. A small work here, Juniper, signifies its own source but also comes close to a type of “pure” sculpture, referencing archetypal forms, such as a boat or weapon.
– Giles Sutherland, The Times (UK)

Teresa Hunyadi has carved a piece of bog oak into a swelling wave and floated a wooden boat on this wooden sea. It is rather beautiful.
– Duncan Macmillian, The Scotsman (UK)

I met Teresa at a conference on Medieval sculpture, testament in itself to her dedication to wood carving and the breadth of her vision. Her infectious enthusiasm for wood and every aspect of working with it struck me immediately. She generously considered questions I had, as an art conservator for National Museums Scotland, regarding a 14th century sculpture I was conserving. The depth of her knowledge and understanding of her material were extremely useful in helping me formulate my thoughts on the construction of the piece.
Diana de Bellaigue, Artefact Conservator, National Museum Scotland

Teresa’s work shares an ancestral/cultural path directly into the traditions of Austrian and West African wood carving. Within both those traditions is the quasi-ritualism that inhabits some of her works. Her masks are not intended to be worn. Instead, there’s a living presence carved into them. Indeed the hollow at the back is more a head-shaped absence rather than a place for a head to go. Within them there is deliberate stillness.
Tim Pomeroy, Sculptor

Teresa, gently and with deep-seated respect, asks her lovingly acquired natural blocks of the material to partner her on a journey of discovery. With no need for ‘ownership’, she will gladly describe to anyone interested the beauty innate in the material.
Johnny Ragland, Designer and Researcher

I was really engaged by Teresa’s work. Her objects so often sit in between our everyday classifications; of animal/vegetable, organic/inorganic, abstract/natural. It’s a powerful ambiguity. Other artists might draw out tensions between frames of reference, but with her works it feels more like a gentle refusal of categories in the first place.
Tim Fairhall, Musician

Teresa’s work has had a powerful effect on her non-sighted audience over and over again. Not only for those individuals, young and old, who have experienced sight loss over many years but for newly blind people. She treats her audience with respect and as equals and acknowledges that they also have something very noteworthy to share in return. I was particularly impressed with Teresa’s deep-seated willingness to learn about the “blind” experience of the world and how she was eager to give blind people the opportunity to experience her artwork.
Rosita McKenzie, Blind Photographic Artist

When I attended the exhibition, I was only in my first year of blindness, but the show helped pull me into a more tactile way of interpreting the world. For the first time I was able to experience art in a wholly new, unique and comfortable way. I’ve used the same techniques of exploratory touch in my daily life since the exhibition and it has given me more confidence, courage and patience when coming across unfamiliar objects.
– Carol Nash, Exhibition visitor