Extended label for the exhibition written by Curator Karl Chitham
Hutchinson is currently based in Ōtepoti Dunedin. Although originally a graffiti writer using spray cans as his tools, in 2006 he worked on a project for Blue Oyster Gallery that was to signal a shift in his practice. Called Concrete to Textile for the exhibition Hutchinson painstakingly embroidered a series of graffitied panels. Since then he has developed an approach that he refers to as pyschogeography where he explores urban environments, particularly the street on his journey to and from work. He then recreates the found structures and discarded objects he encounters as hand-embroidered sculptures.
He describes the process of collecting and recreating these objects as a way of tracing time and getting to know his immediate environment. He documents the sites he collects from, drawn to and highlighting the spaces people choose not to see, such as the pie wrapper caught under a rusting section of wire fence you see here. In 2019 he travelled to New York, extending his project to the suburb he was based in.
“Three of these works are part of the ‘Far from home’ series and are based on trash I picked up in Williamsburg, a suburb in Brooklyn, New York. They were found within a kilometre radius of where I was staying. Each morning I would spend an hour wandering around the neighbourhood photographing and collecting discarded ephemera, to reproduce as hand-embroidered objects when I got back to New Zealand.”
Jay Hutchinson latest exhibition at Olga Gallery continues his ongoing exploration of the urban environment with a sonnet to detritus. The artist has photographed litter he has seen on the roadside during his daily commute, and used these photographs as a basis for embroidered works on printed canvas.
Hutchinson has long been fascinated with urban life and the borderline between art and pollution. Some of his misspent youth was involved in tagging, the large and often baroquely embellished graffiti signatures often seen around a city.
As such, his move to professional art has seen him questioning the often arbitrary line between high and low art, and also has led him to the understanding that commercial branding is in itself a form of professional tagging.
Even after a product has been consumed, its logo-adorned wrapper will often be found as roadside litter while simultaneously continuing to advertise its product.
Hutchinson has subverted the idea of rubbish being an unattractive pollutant byproduct of commercialism by reclaiming it as art and presenting it in the gallery space using that most delicate and even genteel of media, embroidery.
What was literally throwaway has been elevated to something of commercial and aesthetic value, and this has produced a pleasing, thought-provoking and wryly witty exhibition.
24 Hours at the Sweatshop is a 24 performance work where a single worker will cut, sew and print T-Shirts in a simulated sweatshop setting. The project aims to highlight the labour involved in producing an every day product that everyone is familiar with as well as a critique on fast-fashion. T-shirts can be purchased @companystore through a donation to woman’s refuge #companyofstrangers #24hoursatthesweatshop #idfashion #fastfashion #agallerypresents
An exhibition of new hand stitched works by Jay Hutchinson based on debris and pieces of trash he collected on his way to work. Discarded pieces of rubbish are photographed and printed onto silk and hand stitched.
The exhibition opens on Friday the 8th of March at 5:00pm at Olga Gallery, 32 Moray Place, Dunedin and will run until March 26, 2019
Thanks to New New New Corporation for generously suppling the exhibition opening with their awesome product
Allan Caldwell kept a small black note-book with recipes collected during his professional life as a baker for Ernest Adams. It was discovered by Julia Loach (Allan’s great-granddaughter) and her husband Jay Hutchinson in 2018 inside a box in the shed of the house Jules grew up in. Inside the recipe book were also included hundreds of clippings of letters and other correspondences to newspapers which Allan painstakingly collected after publication.
Clippings, pages and page-spreads were photographed by Jay for A Gallery Presents. Some attempt has been made to give thematic order to the letters and they are reproduced here along with page spreads from the recipe book.
copies of the book are available from firstname.lastname@example.org for $35 including postage (within in New Zealand)