Kianne Hutchinson: creating a new era of visual art in the wake of the pandemic

Jamaican artist Kianne Hutchinson

Necessity is the mother of invention or, in the case of the visual arts, transformation. The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic changed the art landscape as countries implemented a raft of health protocols, many of which restricted the movement and gathering of people.

Artists and galleries recognised their survival depended on rapid adaptation to the changing circumstances and maintaining a high level of agility. Locally, some artists have embraced this need for a new approach; one such Jamaican is Kianne Hutchinson.

Having used digital tools for years to create her art and employed the use of augmented reality technology to bring some of them to life, Hutchinson is no stranger to the digital space. The proverbial ‘shifting of the winds’ has seen her extend her work’s reach despite the existing global challenges.

“In several countries and societies, art is still seen as “other”, not something to take seriously or to aspire to.”

—- Hutchinson

Hutchinson is passionate about the visual arts and hopes artists can capitalise on increased online traffic to gain exposure.

“Across the globe, artists have been using digital tools to market themselves, produce new art, and host art shows. This has resulted in the survival and growth of many artists as they now have the ability to showcase their work to a wider audience. Art enthusiasts are also benefiting from this evolution as it allows them a greater opportunity to immerse themselves in new forms of art and provides greater accessibility to unique cultural expressions,” she noted.

Adding that, “The art industry worldwide is tremendously significant. However, in several countries and societies, art is still seen as “other”, not something to take seriously or to aspire to; it’s a hobby rather than a career. Those who make the conscious decision to devote themselves to and pursue their craft deserve to be supported; they need to be supported.”

Proudest career moments

Hutchinson knows first-hand how the right approach and attitude can result in opportunities. Some of her proudest international career moments include: An 8-page feature in German photography magazine Pictures Das Foto-Magazin (2018), guest commentary in Germany’s Pictures Science Magazine – October 2019, her photography being on display in the BBA Gallery in Berlin, Germany (2020),  being featured by VOGUE Italia’s Photovogue Magazine-‘Best of PhotoVogue’ August 2020 and March 2021, and PhotoVogue ‘Pic of the Day’ February 2020. 

She wears a broad smile when speaking about her large-format artwork and full-wall mural wraps which currently adorn two walls in New York City; European spaces are in the pipeline for 2021.

Hutchinson is passionate about the visual arts

She’s been a featured artist at the Kingston Creative Artwalk, her artwork is featured in the Office of the Prime Minister’s 2021 calendar (December) and also on the Ministry of National Security’s ‘We Transform’ murals on South Camp Road.

Hutchinson’s work has not missed local media as the Jamaica Observer featured her twice on ‘Page 2’ (May 19, 2019 and July 31, 2020); the Sunday Gleaner’s Outlook did a two-page spread on April 7, 2019 with another feature done on October 19,2019. The list is extensive. 

Her work has been featured in exhibits at the Jamaica Conference Centre and the Gene Pearson Gallery. She also does speaking engagements around the merging of art and technology.

Creative industry champion

As a champion for supporting the creative industry, she has been featured as a panellist on the Office of the Prime Minister’s ‘Connect’ programme to speak on entrepreneurship in the creative space. 

Ki-ki, as some affectionately call her, is also a 2019 Development Bank of Jamaica IGNITE Grant awardee, “It was a wonderful opportunity. The funds were used primarily for equipment and software which boosted the business’ creative capacity and efficiency. The entire process facilitated a deeper dive into strategic thinking; this is critical for businesses, particularly MSME’s. Awareness of such opportunities needs to be improved as well as the creation of more programmes geared towards the micro business segment,” she said.

Hutchinson is also a 2019 Development Bank of Jamaica IGNITE Grant awardee

Beyond art, Hutchinson is passionate about the special needs community and animal welfare. On the latter, she will be shedding light on the work being done by the Montego Bay Animal Haven.

In relation to the special needs community her intention is to raise awareness about their challenges regarding employability and entrepreneurship. “Having a professional attitude can make such a difference in creating and capitalizing on opportunities. However, the reality is that apart from academic training, many persons with disabilities do not have access to work experience or any other means to receive the skillset which prepares one to operate in a professional environment,” she opined.

Adding that, “For entrepreneurial-minded individuals with special needs, there are many gaps to fill around creating a solid foundation to operate one’s own business.”

Her unique aesthetic consists of vibrant, contemporary digital art, sometimes merged with photography which she proudly displays on her website and social media pages. Supporters can view her work on her website – https://www.kiannepatrice.com – and on Instagram – @kianne.patrice – to participate her artistic journey.