Detail of "Grove" by Stephen Hutchings from his exhibit Landscapes for the End of Time (Stephen Hutchings)
My landscapes hope to convey a sense of the mystery, but also the continuity that lies beneath our sense of our own personal life and our time on earth.
—Stephen Hutchings, artist
Art and music come together at The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) with a unique event involving the music of Olivier Messiaen and eight larger-than-life paintings by Ottawa artist Stephen Hutchings. The Gryphon Trio and clarinetist James Campbell bring it all to life.
Hutchings has always been a music lover, and he's especially attracted to contemporary classical music. He calls Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time one of the most incredible pieces of music written in the 20th century. And when Hutchings heard the compelling story behind the creation of the piece, he was moved to produce a no less striking body of work he calls Landscapes for the End of Time.
Hutchings found that story galvanizing and inspiring. "My work, Landscapes for the End of Time, is not about the music, but really about the idea that in the face of an apocalyptic event, the end result is one of continuity," he explains. "And in this case, continuity of life. So my landscapes hope to convey a sense of the mystery, but also the continuity that lies beneath our sense of our own personal life and our time on earth."
Gryphon Trio: enthusiastic collaborators
The musicians, in turn, respond to Hutchings's paintings. Roman Borys of Gryphon Trio says, "It's his own honest response to the music. And it's an exploration of time. These images just stay."
The Messiaen is such a significant piece of music for all of the performers. Despite the fact that it comes out of the composer's Catholic faith, its message is universal and speaks to everyone.But combining the music with other media can be tricky.