Among the Stars
In PhoPa Gallery’s Between Earth and Orion, Jeannie Hutchins explores her own subconscious
Canadian American artist Jeannie Hutchins is primarily a photographer, yet her most recent work stretches the medium as she experiments with silk, cyanotype, and gum bichromate prints. Her upcoming exhibition at PhoPa Gallery in Portland, Between Earth and Orion, highlights the artist’s innovative nature. Previously an upholsterer and community health nurse, Hutchins combines her knowledge of psychology and fabric design to create multimedia artworks that feel immersive, both mentally and emotionally. In various installations, delicate silks move subtly, interacting with the kinetic flow of light and air in the gallery, as each viewer has a unique experience with the work depending on the weather and time of day; viewers’ appreciation of the work deepens as they approach her art from alternative angles, where it materializes differently. Through softedged figures of unknown identities and surreal nightscapes infused with flashes of light, the exhibition gestures toward a mystic, intuitive understanding of subconscious life. “Hutchins creates a unique object, greater than a singular photo, that allows viewers to enter into the subject matter through multiple channels,” says gallery director Sophia Namara. “Her installations subtly dismantle preconceived notions about how photography should be presented, and in learning and mastering new media, she goes deeper in her self-exploration.” Although her work may unintentionally reveal universalities, it is deeply individual. “She’s not trying to speak for everyone, but she is trying to understand her own humanity and place in the universe by making art,” Namara adds. Between Earth and Orion, featuring the work of Jeannie Hutchins, will be on view at PhoPa Gallery from March 7 to April 21. The gallery will also host on opening reception on March 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and an artist talk on April 15 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.