Is success about having everything or not wanting anything else?

My recent ‘spotlight’ #twinterviews are with the “brilliant” #untitled10 artists exhibiting at The Bowes Museum. Andrew's woodwork has the precision of ancient techniques producing beautiful contemporary pieces and a personal philosophy.

I hope you can enjoy my recent ‘spotlight’ #twinterviews with the “brilliant” #untitled10 artists currently exhibiting at The Bowes Museum until Feb 28th. Each artist has responded to the museum and collection in a unique way with an emphasis on craft and making. Andrew's woodwork has the precision of ancient techniques producing beautiful contemporary pieces. Talkin' Culture ran these twitter interviews for @thebowescentre.

Andrew Hutchinson #twinterview transcript

Thank you very much for joining us today Andrew @anh_artisan for your lunchtime #twinterview with @talkinculture Q1 What is your earliest memory of working with wood and hand tools that started your life journey in craft? #untitled10 @thebowesmuseum

Andrew @anh_artisan A1 Hiya. Glad to be here! One of my earliest and favourite memories is when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I've always made things but this day I went epic! I remember seeing bundles of long thin wood and a roll of plastic sheeting in the garage and I instantly saw a Hang Glider! So I set to making an elaborate Da Vinci like wooden wing. Unfortunately it didn’t fly! But that’s still my favourite way to approach work though – to look at a pile of timber and see what I can see in it and just make things without designs or technical drawings and cutting lists etc. #untitled10

Andrew @anh_artisan Q2 How has the #untitled10 process surprised you or made you question your relationship with craft? #twinterview @talkinculture @thebowesmuseum       

Andrew @anh_artisan A2 It completely changed my attitude to how I make things. On a practical level I am moving towards being virtually a hand tool only woodworker now. I was most surprised with how easy it is to work by hand. Physically it's tough, but once you get the feel for it, the array of work you can do with a simple set of hand tools is astounding. It just takes time. That’s the big question I keep coming back to. Time being the commodifier of value. #untitled10

Andrew @anh_artisan Q3 How has your process to craft 10 boxes for the #untitled10 2019 exhibition challenged you most in terms of difficulty even as an experienced wood worker? #twinterview @talkinculture @thebowesmuseum

Andrew @anh_artisan A3 There were physical challenges. Spending 45 mins re-sawing walnut by hand was exhausting! It took 3 boxes to really get my eye in with my hand tool technique, then the work became almost meditative which was nice. The challenge then was to maintain my commitment to the process – to not second guess or overthink the concept and focus. I am awful maintaining focus on one thi… that a squirrel...

Andrew @anh_artisan Q4 How much does personal confidence have to do with craft to succeed whether a traditional or contemporary craftsperson? #twinterview #untitled10 @talkinculture @thebowesmuseum

Andrew @anh_artisan A4 Depends how you define success I suppose. In traditional terms, I’m not a ‘successful’ woodworker – I don’t have orders coming out of my ears, I don’t have thousands of Instagram followers. But I’m a happy woodworker! I think having personal confidence to define your own success criteria and not base it on what others see success as is hugely important, it allows you the freedom to create and be creative.That’s something I have only recently discovered - to horrendously misquote a philosopher, success isn’t about having everything, its not wanting anything else. #untitled10

Andrew @anh_artisan Q5 What questions might your work for #untitled10 @thebowesmuseum raise for visitors both practically and philosophically? #twinterview @talkinculture

Andrew @anh_artisan A5 If people see a row of boxes that really have no actual purpose other than to exist alongside each other and ask any questions I will be happy... If those questions relate to the notion of value, or the need for concealment of flaws or mistakes, or even just understanding of the importance of the process, then that would be even more satisfying. One thing I have realised is my #untitled10 journey has become entirely selfish! Having the time to think about how my work is part of my life and the importance of enjoying what I do has been the question I have answered for myself - so anything more is a wonderful bonus!

Thank you very much Andrew @anh_artisan - Followers you can see more of Andrew’s work here: #untitled10 2019 are in exhibition @thebowesmuseum until Feb 28th.

Andrew @anh_artisan 

No thank you @thebowescentre @talkinculture @thebowesmuseum for this whole project and your commitment to promoting local creative work and their creators. Its been transformative!

Paula Moore, Director of Talkin’ Culture is interested in how access to arts and museum spaces can be widened to far wider audiences through different entry points and with alternative visitor experience routes. I believe traditional museum experiences are often too static, austere and often rigidly academic failing to respond as a public service. I hope you enjoy my #twinterviews and artist insights to explore this further.

Header Image Credit: Andrew Hutchinson


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