Massachusetts-based artist Rebecca Hutchinson will create a site-specific installation in the Scott Gallery at Daum Museum of Contemporary Art on State Fair Community College’s Sedalia campus. Hutchinson is well regarded nationally for her immersive, nature-inspired environments formed from clay, fiber, and humble upcycled materials. The exhibit will open Sept. 21 and close Dec. 15.
Hutchinson’s sculptural assemblages are influenced by natural structures, interactions between nature’s forces, and the complexity of engineering found in nature. Although her installations are not replications, they reference specific activities such as the nesting and colonization of insects and birds, the search for space by plants, and massed floral motifs found on antique textiles.
Hutchinson’s work bridges the disciplines of sculpture and ceramics and offers a fresh look at possibilities within each field. She notably employs paperclay made from up-cycled materials (used clothing, paper, burlap) and uses a variety of techniques, including hand building, slip trailing, dipping, layering, and cutting.
In her installation at the Daum, she used $1 million of obsolete currency and worn-out blue jeans. These materials are beat down to pulp and mixed with clay to make hand-built forms. The clay for this installation is Missouri-mined Hawthorn Bond. Individual paperclay components are placed on armatures woven mostly of natural materials, like willow, and hang on the wall, suspend from the ceiling, and accumulate on the floor.
Hutchinson’s installation coincides with another Daum exhibition, “Particle & Wave:
PaperClay Illuminated” (Oct. 12 to Dec. 15). Her work is also included in that show. She has employed paperclay as part of her ceramics practice for over 20 years.
Hutchinson, who is a professor of ceramics at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, exhibits nationally and internationally, and has received numerous residencies, commissions, and awards.