In conversation with Kevin Dutton…
How we met?
Annie: Kevin lives locally to me in Dulwich and we met through friends. I have always admired his work so being able to show his stunning photographs at our Open House has been such an honour. As well as his unique, style of photography we particularly love the fact that his subjects are the very plants that he grows in his garden.
Kevin Dutton was born in Southampton, UK, in 1965. He studied drama at Bretton Hall College, moved to London after graduation and worked as an assistant to various photographers in the fashion & advertising industry. His photographic career began with a series of studio portraits of comedians which became the exhibition ‘Serious Comedy’ in 1992. From this, commissions came from magazines and newspapers to take pictures of artists, musicians, actors & politicians. Since then, he has worked in the UK and abroad for a variety of editorial, design and business clients, including, amongst many others, The RHS, The Observer, The Sunday Times, BBC, Channel 4, Fuel Publishing and HarperCollins.
In recent years Kevin’s work has broadened and his lifelong passion for plants and gardens has provided a new direction in both the field and studio. His botanical studies and compositions are created from plants and flowers grown in his own garden and allotment. His photographic prints are collected worldwide, and have been shown at art fairs and galleries in Stockholm, Manchester, London, New York and Busan, Korea.
What was the trigger that got you into art?
Kevin: I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t! My mother was a musician and my father was always making things, so I grew up in a creative environment. My father was a keen amateur photographer and we used to have darkroom in a blacked-out kitchen pantry. That was where my interest in photography started.
What inspires you?
Kevin: My photographs are of plants I have grown myself so I suppose they are the main inspiration. I also draw inspiration from other aspects of the natural world and other artists.
What about the creative process excites you the most?
Kevin: Change. I think an artist needs to be constantly changing to be effective, even if those changes are subtle. I love my subject because there are always more plants to grow, always more ways to handle them.
Are there any artists who have influenced you over the years?
Kevin: Yes! Too many to mention but, in recent years, the painters of the Dutch Golden Age and numerous historical botanical illustrators.
How have you developed your style as an artist?
Kevin: I think I’m generally moving from a clinical, abstract representation of plants to a looser, more natural style of image-making.
Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Kevin: Photographing plant compositions over hours and/or days can test your patience, so music and/or radio is pretty much essential.
Please come and meet Kevin on Saturday 11th May at 4pm, 93 Woodwarde Road, Dulwich, SE22 8UL.
For more of Kevin’s work do visit his website or follow him on instagram @duttonphotos