How I Became an Artist

On his walks, my grandfather Jakob used to pick up small things like old nails, screws, nuts, and pieces of wire, which, as he explained, would one day serve him. He kept these treasures in a box in his bedroom cupboard.

My grandmother Marie loved paintings. She owned, among others, a copy of Böcklin‘s Death Island. One day, the painting seemed too dark to her; she bought a brush and some tubes of paint and brightened up the gloomy canvas.

My father Werner collected stones, pieces of wood and metal, feathers, blades of grass, snail-shells, clockworks, and worn out machines, and assembled them into models of imaginative inventions. He, too, loved the arts. He admired Böcklin, Kandinski and Klee. Paul Klee, especially, on whose grave he sometimes laid a rose. However, he didn’t modify any copies; he drew and painted his own pictures.

So, in time, I became a gatherer and an artist, too.

Kurt Hutterli was born in 1944 in Bern, Switzerland. He got his Secondary School Teacher Diploma at the University of Bern and taught arts, drama and Italian before moving to Canada with his wife Marianne in 1996. In 2000 they became Canadian Citizens.
As a writer he published novels for adults and children, short stories, poetry, and stage plays. He also wrote radio plays for the Swiss National Radio and columns and articles for newspapers and magazines. Some of his texts were published in anthologies and school books in Switzerland and Germany. He was awarded several prizes. The archives related to his work are kept in the Swiss Theatre Collection at the University of Bern and in the “Special Collections” at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
His artistic work (objects, sculptures, installations, paintings) has been shown in several solo exhibitions in Canada and Switzerland and he regularly takes part in group-exhibitions.