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  • Emilie Beckman

Hutching’s Exhibition Dabbles with Brokenness and God




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

apart.


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.

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