HOME: Eileen Hutton

Eileen Hutton’s outdoor installation explores the invisible relationships that exist within given places, between human beings, animals, and plant life.

In the canopy of trees surrounding the Glucksman, a series of wooden nesting boxes invite birds to make their homes. Hutton's artificial habitats for blue tits have been fitted with small sculptural elements and materials - wool sourced from Galway sheep, dyed with pigments from the bark of birch and oak trees - that the birds use for building their nests. At the end of each nesting season, these sculptures must be removed from the boxes as the birds won’t return if their nests have become infested with mites, fleas, slugs, and spiders. The intervention therefore allows for the agency of animal species, whose decision to occupy the boxes, to interact with the interior elements, and to re-settle in the coming years, belies the anthropocentric viewpoint we often have of our interactions with nature. 

A short film installed in the gallery bay window shows grainy raw footage of this collaborative process, watching the bird unpick and entangle the woolen elements, while a display of nests showcases previous iterations of the project. In this way, Hutton explores the permutations of an environment determined by multiple species and actors, drawing on Donna Harraway’s notion of ‘making kin’ to represent the deeply