Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

July 6th 2013

There were no souvenirs the last time The Rolling Stones played Hyde Park, just our memories of that sunny summer afternoon forty four years ago - Mick wearing a white dress, the excitement of being out in the open with others also rejecting the old authority, white butterflies, flamboyantly, extravagantly dressed people, seeing our soundtrack live at the centre of the Empire - the counter culture at play.
I came up from the suburbs as a seventeen year old schoolgirl, jumped a train to see The Great Rock Band, who after the death of Brian Jones were playing to confirm the life force.
I was one of a quarter of a million people floating under the trees that day, the odd one out in my milieu, here I was home safe. There were no fences, barricades or merchandising, security was only to protect the band. We talked to strangers, we smoked some weed, we knew the lyrics but were far too cool to sing them out loud even though they were anthems already.
I don't remember the play list just that it was a life changing day, one of the best, most spontaneous days that London has ever produced. I went away feeling that I'd been initiated into something very large, a tribe, a life underground.
My partner of the last twelve years, Eddie Mosdell, was there on that day in 1969, we didn't know each other then even though we lived a few miles apart, so July 6th was a big memory day for both of us.
A lot of time passed, the concert in the park became a distant memory, in 2013 the barricades were up, security wore black, we were searched, there was no shade and it was ferociously hot, the sponsors had some truly awful advertising and directionless performance artists wandering about.
But we'd come to see The Stones and none of it mattered when they fired up, some of their best work was written in the intervening forty four years, they'd moved into much deeper territory and they played it all, it was heartfelt, it was a thread through a lot of lives.
"Wind me up and I'll never stop, never stop" was what he sang and that's what he did - he danced, he pranced, he sang, he gave us the life force rock and roll style for two hours. The show never flagged, their performances were seamlessly fluid, the lyrics were resonant, they gave us a piece of themselves and they were joyful doing it, different to the moody posing of their earlier style.
Paint it Black was deeply, purple black and menacing, lyrics from another century when information was what you heard on the street. The long version of Midnight Rambler was goose flesh erotic and felt like entering a trance state with the band, Satisfaction and Brown Sugar were nearly as good. There were many musical allusions layered on top of each other, Eastern, Gypsy, American South, all rolled into London.
The overriding memory of those hours was the driving force of the lyrics, of just how much of an enigma the individual band members and their relationship with each other are. Mick has said that he could have done something else with his life, that you don't need to be intelligent to be a rock star.
I disagree, the power of an intelligent band performing music with multi layered inflections and timeless lyrics, played for several generations to go wild over is a great gift to have, and to give.
The day made me feel young again, a big shot of the life force, they deserved the glory
do do do do do do do   do do  do do

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gemini in Australia is part of a series of 12 paintings that I took to exhibit in Sydney in October 2012.
what I wrote about this work is -
Going to Australia from a London low life existence with my dark self looking backwards, carrying the sorrowful black dog, somewhere way out there in the red landscape, dressed inappropriately, an apprentice hippy in a weird space.
What I wrote about the whole show, Transit, was -
So, the merry go round has come to town, the annual visit of the golden gallopers. A person  could go up and down and round and round in ever faster circles until the music stops.
Or a part of them, hopefully the better half, can decide to get off and go bush, take the horse, a sack full of memories and the more polished pieces of archetype and just leave.
Of course they're still attached to heaven and earth, still connected to the thread, still dancing to the music - but it's their own music now.
The women riders and their mounts have jumped the carousel, broken free of the roundabout to follow their different paths as odd, fantastical figures - women with fish in their hair, parrots coming out of their mouths, riding over fish trapped in ice, a young girl taking a panther for a walk, a woman following a hare being chased by the wind, another rising through shoals of coloured fish.
They're galloping through painter Margot Hutcheson's mind to meet up at watters Gallery, 109 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney from October 31st - November 17th 2012

The Road to The Unknown

The Road to The Unknown - painting finished 22.5.13

with Gemini in Australia

Saturday, May 11, 2013

El Camino

First of a new series, El Camino, The Way 48" x 44" oil on canvas

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tansit continued....

It sounds like you've just woken up to something Margot?
"After years of being interested in Jungian psychoanalysis, as an anlysand, a member of the Jungian society and a reader of his work, I've found something that moves on many more steps. So yes, I feel that I've woken from a long, helpless dream."
I look at her staring back at me.
"I joined Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist group of 14 million people chanting twice a day, it's an amazing experience to be able to move into connection with the life force by chanting the Lotus Sutra and Nam Myoho Renge Kyo."
It must have altered your work a lot, maybe locked your mind down? I ask politely, thinking of cults and other brain washing institutions.
"On the contrary, I feel that the roof has lifted off my mind, I now feel able to range over huge universes without fear or falling. On a work level being able to push paint about in this new space is like a revelation.
I've joined a marvelous group of  people striving and chanting for the peace and enlightenment of everybody, to transcend ourselves, to completly understand the meaning of cause and effect. There is nothing onerous about the practise and it has had the most enormous effect on my life and those around me."
I can't argue with her quiet commitment so change the subject and wonder if she tries to make light of what she does?
"I think actions in the world should appear effortless, it gives things a beauty if you don't see the work behind. Painting is not therapy, it's not good for you to sit in a room alone day after day with the paint fumes but this is a whole new adventure, trying to paint into existence things that I was only half aware of until recently. There's so much more I want to put down now.
Transit is a gallop round my mind in concrete images, painted as I began chanting. Next comes the pathways, roads, tracks down which we gallop.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More Transit

I comment that while the work might be painted well enough there is an aspect to it that is freakish and I wonder how many people would want it on their walls?
"Well that is always a problem" she says.
It just comes out automatically when I say what is the point then?
"The point is the desire to express things that drive women in their transit through this life, silent, non monetary forms of acheivement, like constancy, story and, myth telling, fury, overcoming disappointment, sadness, bravery, illness, awareness of everything existing all at once, motherhood, dancing."
"Yes, I think that's the shallow reason why I married a gay man, because he liked taking drugs and dancing too. Great dance music, great clubs, but that was all a while ago."
And now?
"Now, I've been grazing on such a lot of different ideas, ways of being, for so long that I'm a stange rag bag of tatty Christmas decorations. My idea of a day out is to go to the reading room of the British Library and order up books on anything I'm interested in. It's a pretty wild education.
Outdoors I'm on a long mission to visit the rock art sites across the top of Australia, paintings with a different sensibility in each area, painted for different reasons. there is a lot to be learned from these galleries, the Bradshaw group depicts joyful, leaping people, often without weapons and some obviously women/goddess figures. They are indicators of  a wonderful, now almost unknown part of us as modern humans, they had the time to depict themselves, to know who they were. There are still people painting in these far away places, thousands and thousands of years later. It's a great privilege to have been there and met some of them."
What are the drivers for you now?
"Well, I can't be bothered with show.
What really drives me is curiosity, the unknown, latterly the freedom to download what is in my mind, no matter what. It's something you do alone, an absolute comittment to expressing the life force in paint, good or bad."
I'm supposed to ask who's influenced you now?
"The painting influences are easy, Stanley Spencer who lived now far from here, the early American landscape painters, Gaughin, Rousseau, anybody doing paradise lost, found or mislaid."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Transit continued

I used to be a hippy in the Queensland rainforest and returned to visit recently, to a society outside the main, to a valley so lush it grows before you, the birds and snakes know no bounds. However it's a very small, contained paradise now, the acres of sugar cane fields that surrounded and protected it are covered in houses and people. I dream of it nearly every night as it was."
Walking around the studio I see a lot of odd fantastical female figrues riding on fairground horses. Women with fish in their hair, parrots coming out of their mouths, fish trapped in ice, a young girl taking a panther for a walk, a woman being chased by the wind.
I ask Margot if this is waht she sees when she's out in the bush? I'm laughing to myself about crazy artisits.
"While it's true that the Australian Indigenous people can see their ancestors walking about all I ever see out there is an odd unexpected perception of light. I think this is a question for quantaum physics in the future. These paintings are not country based, they're from my imagination."
She obviously thinks I'm combatative and shallow, so I ask her if she's trying to say something about women in general or if this series is a personal statement?
"I don't know if this applies to other women as well, I've been using the vehicle of the rider to make images of feelings, situations, change and place that I've experienced. If that chimes with other people I'd be very grateful."
"Yes, grateful that people might take some meaning, comfort, whatever. It would also mean that I'm not alone. Or crazy. Just a woman in transit."
Transit is the name of this exhibiton, an odd name for a series of paintings, it makes me think of a Sydney bus company.
Margot laughs and says "Transit along the path thru life, through situations, through experiences, through places, as more of ourselves becomes apparent. So I suppose we're all on the metaphorical bus. These horses and riders have broken free of the carousel and are off, still attached to heaven and earth and free to follow their own paths."
( more soon)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Transit of a painter

In which I interview myself

The question I had travelled so far to ask Margot was...."what is the underlying foundation of your work?"
A bit cheeky really as how was I to know that she had any foundation at all? That she didn't just jump from one project/idea to the next? She certainly wasn't milking one idea, cashing in on repeat performances of ancient success.
Looking at her work over the last thirty years you could see the recurring themes of still and silent bowls, hot dreamy Australian landscapes, ranks of unknowable trees, creatures of the night, human and otherwise, bizarre social situations and portraits.
Maybe you'd think of her as a leaden butterfly.
The studio is an old brick stable built on top of the river Misbourne in Bucks, giving new meaning to that old hippy expression 'going with the flow'.
As we talked a squirrel jumped on the roof, a vole ran past the door, a moorhen took a bath, a rambling rose grew an inch.
So far so ninteenth century bucolic, but the nature legging it round the gartden is a big influence on her work she says, "It's the life force visiting and I'm just part of it, I'm not painting it directly, I use it as acomfortable motor for my imagination."
We stare at the cabbages for a while.
"I can't work in a noisy, concrete place. I go to the north of Australia and stay for a couple of months at a time in remote places in the cheapest places I can find, without a vehicle, to see what happens. And look at ancient rock art galleries."
So what happens? "It's always marvelous and unexpected and memorable. Even for an adrenelin junkie like me the sunset up there is big theatre, you need to have your wits about you all the time and it's exciting to paint that. Ramping up the fear makes the light so much more vivid."
Her blue eyes are looking longingly inward at the Pacific and she continues "I come back to this building on the other side of the world, the cold side, to remember and paint the strange and unusual trees, bright birds, hot tropical pools. I've been infected by Australia for a long time now. The Oz virus."
Before we get too carried away I ask her why she paints Australia when she hasnt lived there for over twenty years?
"I have the bush always at the back of my mind as a paradise, a dream state that I can visit whenever I want, pull it out and examine it. It's something I've been doing since I went with my grandfather when I was sixteen and fell in love with Sydney, knowing I'd return."

to be continued