James Hughes is a Northern Irish photographer and artist, whose photographic practice ranges from social documentary through commercial to fine art photography.
His first photographic experience was of a childhood spent using a box brownie (made by his mother when she worked for Kodak). James is self-taught, and influenced by late 20th century photography and literature, influences that he continues to link through his practice to-date.
James has an extensive background of research in photography (MA, MPhil) and lectures worldwide at various Universities. A celebrated photographer, with many exhibitions and awards, his work is represented internationally in museums and galleries, commercial work also has its place while he continues to pursue his personal career and passion through photography, art and poetry.
What is different or special about my practice is the elegiac tone, the note of longing that suffuses my work and demonstrates how I am touched by those places where damage and grace are inextricably entangled. My work bears witness to the facts, be they visible or existential. It unconsciously links fragments, unearths connections and creates anew through the visual like a sacred task.
I take my art practice seriously, using freedom of expression through questioning connections inherent in the visual to create original artwork. This artwork takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues. By referencing history, I work to explore the varying relationships between popular culture and fine art that reproduces the visual. I use a variety of material and process through each project while my methodology is consistent.
My work in the past has also used revealing aspects of history, which have a profound impact on our contemporary culture today. I find myself continually returning to those aspects that are often hidden or misrepresented in the “official” recordings for posterity therefore by incorporating the subjective, the personal and the bygone my aim is to explore and present the unspectacular with the historically forgotten, in an effort to place the power of previously unseen historic identity through a discarded past.
The message is essentially the same; the experience of time and space is paramount to living a life with meaning. Through the proposed artwork, redemption could ultimately be found by re-establishing a poetic connection withone's immediate environment and in finding place within the detritus and rubble of the post-religious society within which we now dwell.
Is available upon request.