30 June - 22 July

Cheryl Hutchens

The End Begins

Welcome to the embroidery workshop at the end of the world. We make adornments and accoutrement for the survivors. The collapse of civilisation brought with it the end of industrial manufacturing. Our materials are sourced from plastic products discarded in the early 2020’s, the time just before the beginning of the end. Our work recalls the disastrous events that caused the apocalypse. The droughts, the storms, the fires, the nuclear war, the meteor shower, the virus, universal infertility, the extinction of the grasses, and the struggle for survival with what little sustenance remained. We bring to life dreams of the past. Flourishing green life, fields of golden wheat, light at the flick of a switch, aeroplanes, glowing computer screens, living animals, snow, opulence, and beauty.

Cheryl Hutchens

My work is usually inspired by contemporary science but ‘The End Begins’ sees me take a step sideways into science-fiction. The themes for this series of work are drawn from texts exploring dystopian futures and post-apocalyptic scenarios. (see ‘Reading List’) Such stories might once have seemed extraordinary and impossible but recent history has made apocalyptic disasters seem just that bit more likely. In this series of work, I draw comparisons between current events and the beginning of these texts in which news stories often hint at the coming disaster. These works stitch together ideas relating to apocalyptic futures, fashion history, throwaway culture and make do and mend. Fashion as a response to events and cultural movements has always interested me with textile design often providing a form of communication throughout history. ‘The End Begins’ imagines craftspeople making wearable items for the survivors of a civilisation ending disaster and posits the question: What would they make with the materials we left behind in response to the Future we might bequeath to them?

Reading List:
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
Death of Grass, John Christopher
Shift, Hugh Howey
The Children of Men, P.D. James
The Postman, David Brin
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick
Mad Max, Director George Miller, 1979
Mad Max: Fury Road, Director George Miller, 2015
Children of Men, Director Alfonso Cuarón, 2006
Escape from New York, Director John Carpenter, 1981