Reproduced from an article in the San Pedro Sun.
What started thirty years ago as a passion for drawing Mayan ruins and structures, are now being archived as historical records of artifacts that the toll of time has now erased. Some of Henri Dunster’s life like renditions of pencil drawn reproductions of ancient Mayan structures are so exact, that they are truly the only remaining memory of these ancient creations. Dunster has become known for his ability to draw in a unique and amazing way, unlike any other artist in Belize and has the ability to draw photo-like detail. Some of his artwork is concentrated on the meaning and design, as it relates to the people and the land that is Belize. As a child, he was interested in art and had many mentors to spur him on. His inspiration came while he was teaching in Canada and saw a film of the Maya and their work. He then decided to pursue his interest, and he told The San Pedro Sun, "I was bitten by a pernicious bug to draw portraits of Maya ruins and views that get my attention."
Dunster has a total of a hundred and seventy four (174) drawings and hopes to extend his collection to even a greater amount. Over the years, he has lived in and out of Central America, particularly in Guatemala and Mexico, where he started producing drawings. The Archaeological Foundation officially recognized his work as one of the most detailed and most realistic portraits ever seen in Belizean history. In an interview with The Sun, he stated, "I was blessed with an incredible ability to record the detail information of a view, my vision as an artist gives me a wide angle to replicate a picture better than a camera would."
Recently, the Archaeology Foundation commissioned Dunster to produce a series of drawings, and some of them have already been archived for historical records. Dunster, who is semi-retired, now plans to document all of the Mayan structures in Belize. With recognition from the Archaeology Foundation, he is allowed free passage into archeological sites.
One particular portrait is a drawing he did of a Mayan ruin in Caracol, Belize. Mr. Dunster, who draws while on site, told The Sun it took him seven days to complete while sitting in the blistering sun and heat. Despite the elements, he is proud to say that the detail is very accurate, stating "I drew it stone for stone." Two weeks ago, Dunster exhibited some of his artwork in the Cool Art and TasteFest in Caye Caulker, where his amazing talent impressed many.