In conversation: Kate Hughes

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Kate Hughes is a new artist to PJP. We were pleased to present a selection of Hughes’ etchings in our Summer Salon exhibition, and are thrilled to now be presenting an extended suite of the artist’s recent works in an artist debut exhibition with Port Jackson Press. Hughes’ etchings render immersive re-imaginings of the landscape. Not quite real, and based upon a mental collage of different elements, there is something unfamiliar about these familiar scenes that invites closer inspection. Adding to this visual immersion is an accomplished use of light and depth, which draw Hughes’ viewers even further into her work.

As a new artist to the gallery, we talked to Kate Hughes about her creative practice. We hope you enjoy this insight into the artist’s world as much as we do.

Kate Hughes Debut Exhibition runs until March 6th 2019.

View the exhibition online HERE>>

 

What’s your printmaking background?

I am a multidisciplinary artist working in print, textile and photo media in Sydney, Australia. I completed a Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking at the Victorian College of the Arts. That’s when I fell in love with the etching process, especially traditional rosin aquatints. After completing my degree I refocused on textile and drawing media for a few years before circling back around to etching. Most recently I have been experimenting with printing on textiles including silk and velvet, which has allowed me to use my etchings in larger textile pieces.

 

What do you love about printmaking?

It is such a beautiful combination of the technical and creative. The tactile qualities of an etching plate are like no other media. When you wipe back a plate you can feel the image emerging in the texture. It is an alchemical process that makes me feel connected to a lineage of artists using the same materials and methods.

 

khughes_Distance_of_Longing_Adoration

DISTANCE OF LONGING (ADORATION), 2018. ETCHING. EDITION OF 8. 30 X 45 CM.

 What inspires you to create?

I’m captivated by points of tension in the landscape especially where the delicacy of the picturesque meets the depths of the sublime. My most recent series Distance of Longing creates a seductive unease through the placement of imposing mountains in naturalistic Australian landscapes. The juxtaposition of traditional landscape art and feminine perspectives and expression is another driver in my work that is seen most strongly in my prints on textiles.

 

How would you explain your work to somebody who had never seen it before?

My work is delicate, feminine and technically refined. It explores the ties between identity and place enticing the viewer with detail, texture and intimacy. Deceptively naturalistic and richly dark my etchings are landscapes constructed from disparate places. The naturalistic style, traditional media and greyscale palette lend a sense of authenticity that is broken by the presence of jagged peaks or transformation into feminine garments. I challenge that the landscape is a static and unbiased subject. I’m interested in how art and craft transform place into home, creating an intimacy of space.

 

khughes_Silver_Gums

SILVER GUMS, 2018. ETCHING. EDITION OF 6. 28 X 36 CM.