a gallery presents

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loosely based on a series of events that never actually happened REVIEW by Franky Strachan printed in the ODT 16/2/12

A Gallery currently evokes a high school classroom, complete with vandalised furniture.Artist and gallery director Jay Hutchinson has placed scholastic props to contextualise his latest printed and intricately embroidered creations.By screen-printing on to silk and cotton, Hutchinson has produced imitation school books, discarded paperwork, fast-food wrappers, photos, and even the contents of a classroom rubbish bin.He has then embroidered ostensibly personal – but in fact universally familiar – signs of teenage anguish and temporality on to them: antagonistic graffiti “carelessly strewn” (carefully hand-stitched) throughout the printed books and pages. The exhibition is particularly unusual in two respects. First, interaction is encouraged, defying the sober “no touching” gallery tradition.Hutchinson mindfully suggests that any depreciation of the textiles which will inevitably arise through handling will only add to the authenticity of the work.The character of the exhibition is thus peculiar to individuals as they create meaning from their own, exclusive experience with the work; it is interesting to note one’s comfort levels when it comes to physically handling fine art. Second, the presence of embroidery in contemporary works of art is a rarity.The time spent on stitching these composite pieces is phenomenal, and this (deliberately) serves to enhance the artist’s remarkable communication of forced tedium, convention’s limitations, and sequentially, indignant objection.

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Filed under: Art

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