This week we talk to James Hutchinson, artist and Programme Leader for MA Fine Art at the University of Sunderland. James is currently making sculpture and assemblage and his work has a strong digital focus.

Hello, could you tell us a bit about your practice?

I am an artist and Programme Leader for MA Fine Art at the University of Sunderland I am currently predominantly interested in sculpture and assemblage and I have a strong digital focus although I originally studied painting so I have a broad interest in contemporary art.

What are you exploring at the moment?

I currently have an 8ft x 12 ft x 4 ft work with catchy title, 8×3+2, in the Showcase Gallery in Sunderland. 8×3+2 is assembled from parts of the new Aspire bridge in Sunderland and CNC milled offcuts of Birch ply from Fab Lab Sunderland. The elements of this work have been rearranged twice since December and will go through a third reconfiguration.

Next week we are installing the Leonardo Objects Project at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. MA Fine Art and Design students and staff and have a project to accompany The Leonardo Da Vinci Drawings exhibition, which runs from 01 February to 06 May. This project has allowed me to imagine what Leonardo might be working on now… starting with an anti-global warming machine I progressed to investigating his proposal for a tank. I created 3D works fusing his drawings with current machines from robot wars and then remodelled them with butter and photometry to make a 3d print of a no-tank tank or tank for a future without tanks.

Butter Thor Machine still

Leonardo Thor Machine

Have you found there’s anything in particular that has influenced you over the years? What inspires you?

Art …  Michael Majerus, Martin Kippenberger, Fishli and Weiss, Wim Delvoye, Xavier Veilhan, Matt Mullican and the paintings of Philip Guston

Where do you work? Could you show us a picture of your working environment?

My part of the office which I share with Lothar Goetz and Ralf Broeg at The University of Sunderland:

What’s on your bookshelf? What are you listening to or reading at the moment?

A book on Goya…

I enjoy Instagram , Radio 6 , Radio 3 Making noise with H and M and computer games.

Could you give us between ten and twenty words that define your practice?

Chaotic, Hash tag, 10moreeverydaysculpturesinc…, as0jhu, emoji , art, Painting, Sculpture, Noise, Mess, Art

Butter Thor Machine study

Where can people see your work?

The Showcase gallery, Sunderland

Our last featured artist, Megan Randall, asked,” If not this then what? If you weren’t an artist what would you be?”

Nothing …

My question: How can we solve Global Warming?

8x32ii, side