Nick Hutchings: Beyond the Firmament

Angela Smith, Staff Writer

The most recent display in the Williams Gallery includes a series of bold charcoal drawings, delicate scratched designs, and a suspended piece held together by blue, fiber optic lights; all echoing the shapes of galaxies and reminding viewers of the vastness of the universe. One of the most incredible details of each of these works is that they are all made of the same material; one hundred percent cotton canvas, starched and crinkled in some works, and relatively flat in others.

Nick Hutchings, the creator of these pieces, has been drawing since he was a kid growing up in Dallas, Texas. He began his career in college after finding that becoming an architect was not the path that he wanted to take because of all the straight lines and codes that he would have to follow.

Hutchings now teaches fine arts classes at the Mount such as sculpture, ceramics, and 3D art classes. He has stated that he has enjoyed his time here so far.

The inspiration for this series of works comes from the second day of creation, where God created the waters above and the waters below. The title of this series, “Beyond The Firmament,” alludes to this idea. The firmament is where the stars have been placed, according to Genesis.

The suspended piece in the middle of the gallery hangs over a platform filled with 50 gallons of black ink. The reflections of the tiny lights in the darkness of the ink resemble the starry sky on a clear night.

“Ink is close to blood and it has so much importance in human history. It also gives a deep, black reflecting surface,” Hutchings said.

All the works in the series are untitled because Hutchings believes that titles give too much guidance to viewers. He does not want to influence what each person finds in each piece.

“What the viewer gets and what I am conveying don’t have to coincide. They see something and project in it, and it becomes an internal mirror,” he stated.

Hutchings’ works will be on display in the Williams Gallery, in the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center until Feb. 21.

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