Last semester, on Oct. 20, Delaplaine
Center hosted a reception and
opening of Professor Nick Hutchings’ new art Exhibition entitled “Echoes of the Numinous.” The exhibition was open until Nov. 22. Upon entering the hall, one was immediately met
with art seemingly from a different realm.
From paintings to sculptures the room
was filled with both art and intrigued observers.
The artist himself, Professor Nick
Hutchings, who is also the head of the
Fine Arts Department took the time to
explain the meaning behind his work.
He said, "So, a lot of this is about the relationship of me and my own brokenness,
my own failure, my own entropy, and his
presence and what it feels like to me for
him to walk up.”
He said that the works displayed had all
been born out of an intimate, personal moment of prayer. “This work is all through
prayer. It is the act of prayer. The act of
revelation through material,” he added.
In these moments, he explained, all
ideas have started small, like sketches in
notebooks and have grown. He said that
most of the growth does not happen cohesively. In fact many pieces of one artwork can lay scattered across his studio
for months before they find their place.
The artist stated how he saw his process of creating art out of two different
perspectives: the engineer and the poet.
The engineering side of him is very analytical and is put into work when he is in
the physical process of creating. The poet
is what allows him to “play.”
By this, he means that he can play
around with different ideas and see where
the creative process takes him. As an example, he pointed out an artwork and
explained how the ceramic part had been
laying around his studio for months, then
a tree fell on his car which he used to create the wooden parts of the piece.
This show, according to Hutchings,
is the most cohesive one he ever undertook. Every work was made to
work in relations with one another. The
exhibition sent out an aura of balance. As
Hutchings put it, every artwork was in
balance with the world and was dependent on balance or else they would fall
They were also all in balance with one
another. The sculptures, for example,
could be seen as individual pieces but
from a certain angle they could be seen as
one. But even though his work was molded in such a private situation, he showed
no fear of them being on display.
“So part of it I have made, I have spent
time with it, I have spent time in that
prayer. That revelation has come, and the
seed is planted and now it is time to pass it
on. If it breaks, if it falls apart, if someone
hates it, it's no longer mine. I have kind
of cut that cord and to me it is like: this
is not my work, this is my work shared
with him and so it's kind of more about
those lessons learned. Everything I make,
one day will disappear and fall apart. The
thing in the act of making that is planted
in me is eternal and so for me it is not so
much the physical thing that I am seeing
but the lessons I learned through the act of
making it,” he remarked.
In the end, Hutchings wanted the visitors of the show to leave with a sense of
peace. "I hope it invokes a level of stillness
or contemplation, just slowing down. We
exist in a space where we are constantly
wrestling with things. We’re constantly
inundated with image, text and form. We
are seeing things through the lens of our
phones and Instagram, TikTok and all this
other kind of stuff . I just want people too
slow and be present with the work.