Woodbridge: Artist HUTCH leaves lasting impression

“It’s a balance between living now and being inspired by most commonly dead artists,” laughs James Hutchinson, aka HUTCH, when describing his style.

“In that I still love the impressionists... I would never want to rehash what they’ve done, but there’s a part of me which is very much linked with them. If I had to describe it I’m obsessed with line and pattern.”

His work is very ordered, quite meditative to make.

“I think it’s a reflection of my character,” says the 31-year-old Melton-based artist, who teaches art at Ipswich School. “Perhaps even a struggle to understand things and have things solidified.”

The Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design graduate has exhibited – both alone and in groups – across Suffolk, Essex, London and Tuscany in Italy.

He has a residency at Suffolk’s Helmingham Hall Gardens next summer.

HUTCH’s newest show is called The Drawing Seller; an example of his fondness for wordplay and making sure his imagery and text relate to one another.

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It runs in the cellar of The Galley Restaurant, Woodbridge, from December 2-8, during normal opening hours. All the work can be bought, with 20 per cent of all sales going to the charity Mencap.

“I’m not nervous at all; I’m really looking forward to it. It’s all going to be pen and watercolour, looking at a number of subjects, but particularly things at home.

“There’s definitely a kind of connection and a love of the domestic space; often because I sit working near where my wife [professional photographer Colette Smith] is in the evenings.

“I suppose conceptually I’m seeking a balance between finding inspiration inside and outside and then hoping to gain the same sort of balance in the picture.”

HUTCH remembers being massively interested in pattern when he very young, becoming a bit more of an all-rounder while at secondary school.

“I remember doing GCSE art and drawing arches three different ways but making the pictures link together. That was probably the first time I thought about making a series of pieces together and it was exciting.”

It wasn’t until he took a gap year much later, he says, that he started to connect emotional qualities and personal insights with technical skill.

“As soon as I saw the relationship and how I could manipulate those two things, bring them together, they became much more exciting.”

HUTCH has two goals as far as his art is concerned.

He doesn’t want to make anything he doesn’t find personally interesting, there’s a certain level and expectation he wants to hit.

“There’s definitely a kind of… vibe is a very casual word for describing something but there’s something going in the art which I’m starting to hopefully tweak, which is where the titles and the imagery really complement each other and there’s a sense of some sort of feeling that’s gained from looking at a picture.”

Secondly, he wants to continue exhibiting. “In terms of showing work I’ve often thought ‘well, could I be an artist and not show work’? I think exhibiting completes a circle.”

For more about HUTCH and his work visit www.byhutch.co.uk

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