Interview and Review by Jas Bhachu
If we are sure of anything, it is that our good friends over at Delphian Gallery know how to curate incredible art. So when they informed us of Florence Hutchings' first solo show 'Seating Arrangement' coming up; we knew we needed to find out more.
For those who don't know...
Florence Hutchings is an exciting emerging artist currently undertaking a Painting degree at Slade School of Fine Art. Recently awarded the Lynn Painters Stainers Prize (2016-2019), and included in the upcoming 'Kaleidoscope: A Decade of New Art' at The Saatchi Gallery next year, she is known for creating colourfully bold and playful works depicting, tables, chairs, and other interior configurations.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Florence during the pre-show mayhem so we could get to know her a little better.
There is a real confidence in your use of colour in your work. Is there a methodology behind that, perhaps an emotive connection to how you are feeling at the time?
For me colour is a real trial and error process, my paintings go through lots of layers and processes for me to feel at ease with the colour palette. To use colour, it’s really important to look at other artists, people like Matisse, Gillian Ayres and Bonnard have been a massive inspiration for me when it comes to colour. I love the boldness in their work - the colour glows and has a vivacity, this is something I aim to achieve in my paintings. Although I love colour I also feel a limited palette is important, I enjoy making paintings and drawings and only allowing myself to use two or three colours, exploring all the shades those colours have; this has been really important for me to learn about the spectrum of colour.
You have your first solo exhibition ‘Seating Arrangement’ coming up at the Delphian Gallery next month. Could you summarise to our readers what to expect from this collection?
The body of the work in this show mainly consists of paintings and drawings I made over the last month; so they’re really recent works. I tend to work within a variation of a theme and explore a subject matter intensely. This series of work started with a body of A6 drawings of all the chairs in my flat, these were the drawings I worked from to create the paintings and the works on paper. I enjoy the subject matter of a chair as the chair creates a space around it- it means sometimes within the work the carpet or the window appears to have more of a dominance than the focal matter itself. I have a mixture of really large and small work in this show as well as framed drawings. I wanted to approach each piece with a fresh approach so that although all the works have a similar subject matter they still all have a different character.
Developing your personal practice can be all time consuming both physically and mentally; do you find time to ‘switch off’?
Making work is a very time consuming thing, even when I leave the studio I still can’t stop thinking about something that is bothering me in a particular piece that aspect of it can be really difficult to switch off. But most of the time even when I am watching TV at home or just somewhere out of the studio I’m usually drawing or looking at art books or seeing galleries. That’s a side of it I don’t mind not switching off all the time that’s an aspect I really enjoy.
You have a large following on your social media outlets. How do you find having this level of exposure and does the public’s response have an effect on your practice?
I’ve found Instagram a really great thing, I’ve got shows from it and met a lot of great people and found some amazing artists on there who inspire me a lot. But in terms of it effecting my practise I don’t think it does at all. I would still be making the work I am today if that platform never existed, I make what I feel integral to make, it’s not made for other people.