Jamaica Plain-based Amy Hitchcock is a self-taught artist working in a variety of assemblage-based media. She combines vintage photographs, glass bottles, paper cut-outs, wooden boxes and frames, string, and other found objects into eclectic and complex assemblages that evoke dusty attics and long-lost loved ones. Her deft blending of color, image, and object make for compelling works, playing with memory, allusion, and history in unexpected ways.
Amy will be giving a free Artist Talk and Demonstration on Sunday, April 28 at 1PM at UFORGE as a precursor to her June Workshop. She took the time to answer some questions about her work for a UFG Spotlight:
1) In using found materials, how do you connect certain images and objects in your finished assemblages? Do you find it's more for aesthetic reasons or driven by a feeling?
Ultimately it's driven by feeling. Often I start with an idea based on aesthetics, but as the story/assemblage emerges, images and objects often just fall into place. Sometimes these found objects seem totally unrelated, but within the assemblage they seem to work together.
2) A lot of your work involves vintage photographs, where do you usually find these? On the same note, has pursuing your work made you an instinctive collector of interesting objects?
I was a collector of found objects long before I started making assemblages. Some of my collections came from my family. My mother was also an antique dealer, and a lot of the small and often "banal" stuff she would give to me. This is how I ended up with so many old photos and postcards. Today I often find photos at antique markets and thrift shops. Recently I just bought a bunch of photo booth photos from WWII on Ebay.
3) You've done several pieces for UFORGE exhibitions. Was there a theme that you enjoyed the most? How do you like working within certain parameters versus working more freely?
At first the assignments were hard for me, and I chose the ones that I was comfortable with like the Stories assignment. More recently I've done assignments that are more challenging for me like Album Covers and the upcoming Sideshow assignment. In some ways these last two assignments were more satisfying. Sometimes it's good to try different things.
4) Are there any techniques or media that you haven't tried but would like to experiment with?
I would like to knit a sweater!
5) From your online bio I see that you studied art history in college. Do you have a personal favorite movement or artist? Are there any specific artists who have fueled your imagination or inspired certain works?
In college, I liked the work of Edouard Manet, Arthur Dove and Wassily Kandinsky. In terms of my assemblages, I'm obviously inspired by the work of Joseph Cornell (as discussed in a previous interview). But my all time favorite artist (since high school) is Edward Gorey.
And don't forget to stop by her free Artist Talk on Sunday!