Mat Hughes b. 1964
In the last few years, my artistic practice has returned to my roots, namely traditional photography, and darkroom printing.
My work is pictorial. I work with large format cameras. My heroes are those artists from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s who embraced photography and the new science. My happy place lies between photographic image-making and printmaking.
In a digital age where granular sharpness is often the benchmark, my work presents an older artisanal practice, one that celebrates authenticity. One where paper is coated by hand with light sensitive emulsion and where the print is finished with varnish and bees wax.
As a photographer my work is reflective. I’m chasing mystery that hides in shadows. And as a printmaker I am looking to celebrate the handmade nature of the work.
I was born in Libya on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Whilst I don’t remember much, I carry with me a love of wide-open spaces. I am drawn to distant horizons and fascinated by the landscape as it unfolds along the way. And as a relative newcomer to this country, I continue to explore the land that surrounds me.
At the base level, my work is a personal response to my locale and the discoveries that I make along the way. I often fixate on the minutia of shape and form. The medium that I have chosen to work in allows me to distil a landscape or detail and reveal a simplicity that interests me. Through direct observation and translation, I can understand and make sense of my surroundings and enjoy their subtle forms.
It is important that my finished work includes a reference to photographic history and tradition. On a physical level I aim to create work that is both warm and tactile and describes a provenance and depth of thought.
2021 Tacit Gallery - Still life Prize 2021 - Shortlisted
2021 Multiply-Curated by Beatrice Buckland-Willis. Online printmaking showcase
2021 Bay Windows - Gasworks Arts Park
2021 Flora - Heritage Hill Museum & Gallery, Dandenong Arts
2021 Heysen Prize for Landscape - Hahndorf Academy, South Australia
2020 Journeys & Discoveries, Bayside Gallery, Brighton
2019 Group Chemistry - Friends of Photography Group - Brunswick Street Gallery
2019 Extending Tradition 2 - Lightbox Gallery-Astoria, United States of America
2019 The Print Exposed - Gold Street Studios
2018 Group Chemistry - Friends of Photography Group-Brunswick Street Gallery
2017 City of Knox - Immerse Arts Festival
2016 Shoot V2 - Melbourne Arts Club Gallery
2016 In Flux - Brunswick Street Gallery
2018 Quiet Time: Above Savage River - Gasworks Arts Park
2016 In Flux - Consulate-General of Japan
2021 Finalist Heysen Prize for Landscape – Hahndorf Academy, South Australia-Finalist
2016 Click 16-Finalist, Brunswick Street Gallery
2015 Click 15-Finalist, Brunswick Street Gallery
2018 View Camera Australia-Artist profile
2017 The Hand Magazine-Contributing Artist
2016 New Landscape Photography-Featured Artist
1981-1984 Plymouth College of Art & Design, United Kingdom