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). 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 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 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 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. 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. My aim is to explore and present the historically forgotten, to place the previously unseen through a discarded past.
The message is essentially that; the experience of time and space is paramount to living a life with meaning. Through my practice , redemption could ultimately be found by re-establishing a poetic connection withone's environment and find a place within the detritus and loss of the society within which we now dwell.