One of the potential aims of art is to make people look again at things that they would normally disregard — to view things in a new, unexpected light — and in doing so to see them as if for the first time. This is a major feature of the fabric and installation art of Jay Hutchinson.
Hutchinson’s work takes the throwaway, literally, and raises it to a level where it is no longer worthless. Using as his subject discarded scraps and rubbish found on his daily journeys, he reclaims the items by recreating them and reinventing them as intricate and attractive embroidered pieces. This allows us to appreciate that even the detritus of everyday life can have its own surprising and subversive beauty.
Many of Hutchinson’s pieces are hand-embroidered in sewing silk on cotton drill cloth. Other, more massive, installations include urban materials such as tarmac slabs, steel and concrete. Hutchinson’s works subvert the norm, not by simply making high art from low art, but by making high art from scrap. While this makes us reappraise the everyday, it also posits the thought that rubbish, in all its accumulated glory, will become the epitaph of this civilisation, a Rosetta Stone or Bayeux Tapestry from which our history will be deciphered.