Linda Hutchins: Capturing Nature's Grace
Our April/May 2010 issue features artist Linda Hutchins, who creates ephemeral sculptures inspired by family heirlooms and other objects of sentimental value. Her handsewn and life-size organza pieces act as ghostly reminders of the fleeting nature of both making and memory. Below is an excerpt from the article by Sue Taylor that expounds on the conceptual complexities behind Jade Plant (2001), one of Hutchins's early attempts to capture the delicate balance and grace of natural forms.
"Hutchins first employed organza in Jade Plant (2001), sheathing every leaf and branch of the potted succulent in a slipcover she painstakingly fashioned of the shimmering fabric. Uprooted and wall-mounted for exhibition, the plant shriveled inside its intricate custom nylon suit, lovingly protected yet ruthlessly abused. As an environmental statement, Jade Plant points to humanity's uneasy relationship with nature, alternately nurturing and destructive. On a more intimate level, the piece evokes the way objects in our care (children, mates, parents) sometimes elicit contradictory feelings, at once tender and hostile. The rich metaphorical possibilities are typical of Hutchins's approach, as is the labor-intensive process of making."
All works are made with organza and thread; handsewn. Courtesy of Pulliam Gallery , Portland, Oregon.
Jade Plant (in progress, with detail), 2001. Photos: Tracey Taylor.
Jade Plant, 2001; 9" x 8" x 2½". Photo: Bill Bachhuber
Additional recent works by Hutchins:
Goblet, 2008; 4½" x 3½" x 3½". Photo: Dan Kvitka.
Cord, 2009; 4" x 11" x 11" (dimensions variable). Photo: Dan Kvitka.