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Mat Hughes Portrait Photographer

Recent Portraiture: March 2024

Just before Covid struck Melbourne back in 2020, I had started to toy with the idea of making portrait photographs. I wanted to explore the whole old school studio portraiture package and weave together working on film with a large format camera, using soft-focus lenses, studying lighting and finally printing using the old historic printing methods. Portraiture was a genre that I had steered away from, but I suppose age had made me look at people differently. 

Not forgetting that my workflow includes digital elements, I wanted to understand how this could influence the overall image making process in relation to portraiture.

 

If you are Melbourne based, I'm currently looking out for sitters aged around 11 years of age. In exchange for 20 min of your time and a small, suggested donation of $100 to cover my expenses, I am happy to consider making a portrait of your child person. In exchange you will receive a unique, timeless handmade print valued at $450.

 

Contact me on 0407 822 160

Group Exhibition: 

Sheet Film (overview of work made in Victoria): XYZ Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

26 May - Until 2 July 2023

A survey of photographers working in Victoria making work on sheet film. This is an exhibition to inspire. To show the public that photography can a considered, precise and achingly beautiful. Including work by Zo Damage, David Patterson, Hody Hong, Ali Choudhry, Andrew Green, Mark Darragh, Lachlan Fysh and more...

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Mt. Ironpot, QLD, 2023

Digital negative from 4x5 camera negative

Van Dyke Brown | Cotton rag

$245 | Framed 33x38cm | Edition. (1/2)

Group Exhibition: 

The Print Exposed 2023: Gold Street Studios, Trentham East, VIC

12 March - Until 21 May 2023

The Print Exposed is a truly unique exhibition aimed at encouraging the understanding, and appreciation for handmade alternative/ historic photographic print processes evolved from the birth of photography. Photographers selected for the exhibition are automatically considered for The Mike Ware Award. The photographs bring a mix of beauty and intrigue created by passionate photographers and photographic artists. The Print Exposed 2023 is split into 2 groups – those who are invited those who have submitted works for approval. It is the submitted works that qualify for Mike Ware Award.  The Mike Ware Award is made on the the combination of visual artistic merit, the craftsmanship of the work and the control of the scientific processes that create these images.

Official opening: 12 March 2.30 pm by Ellie Young

Artist floor talks: 13 May 4pm to 5.30pm

Solo Exhibition: 

"This time, this place": Tacit Galleries, Collingwood, VIC

1 March - 18 March 2023

Recipient of the TACIT Still Life Prize 2021 - Curators Prize

 

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”

– Australian Aboriginal Proverb

 

Mat Hughes is a Melbourne based photographic printmaker. Originally from the UK, now based in Elwood.

 

This body of work comprises of ten handmade prints. Working with traditional large format cameras, compositions are exposed on sheet film. Mat’s practice bridges traditional and digital technologies. These works have been printed using the Van Dyke Brown process patented in 1895. Paper is coated by hand with light sensitive emulsion, exposed, developed, toned with gold, and finally finished with a bee’s wax polish.   

 

Mat Hughes is a pictorial printmaker in the traditional sense. Working mostly in landscape, he has less interest in today’s tendency to depict objects more or less literally and instead seeks to interpret the emotions, beauty, and impressions that a scene may arouse. To a large extent, the artist in photography is handicapped by the fact that the camera is essentially a very efficient copying machine. The artist therefore must learn to control the medium every step of the way with an instinctive sense of what is beautiful in line, form and tone and seek out the essence of simplicity and balance. The artistic process presented in these works cannot therefore simply be thought of as the automated actions of a camera. These works move across disciplines and set a place at the printmakers table. A sharp reminder that modern photographic printmaking that combines handmade tradition is an exciting place to be.

 

Waterfalls is an ongoing project started in 2020 with the Heysen Prize for Landscape, finalist work, Sheoak falls.

If you would like to know more about how these handmade photographs were made, click here for an essay on View Camera Australia website.

Group Exhibition: 

Threshold: Bayside Gallery, Brighton, VIC

29 October - 18 December 2022

Pretty excited about this one. I will be showing sixteen new landscape works made over the last few months. These works were printed using the cyanotype printing process and toned with botanical organic materials. All work is for sale by application. Priced at $1250 each, these unique handmade prints are ready framed in Victorian Ash with 99%UV blocking glass.    

"Threshold brings together the disparate practices of senior film maker/animator Dirk de Bruyn, photographer Guy Grabowsky, and photographer/printmaker Mat Hughes. These artists share an interest in constructing photographic and filmic imagery through analogue processes, manually engaging with the processing phase to create images that reveal the artists’ encounter with the materiality of process"

Join me for the opening event on Saturday 29 October at 2pm. Register for your free ticket by 26 October HERE

Spring News: 2022

Online Gallery: View Camera Australia

Group Exhibition: Into the blue ll, Sutton Village Gallery, NSW 

Group Exhibition: Bayside Gallery, Brighton, VIC

29 October - 18 December 2022

It's been a while since I lasted posted here but there's heaps going on! 

Jump on the excellent View Camera Australia website to see the latest online gallery of work by Australian large format photographers. Link here

The Sutton Village Gallery up near Canberra is hosting an excellent cyanotype exhibition until 9th October titled "Into the blue ll" with work from all over the country. Link here

And lastly, I have been invited to take part in a photographic exhibition at the Bayside Gallery, Brighton late October featuring work from five photo media artists working in the Bayside area. No details yet other than hold the date 2pm 29 October for the opening event and come on down!  

Group Exhibition: Multiply - Showcasing Printmaking Talent

www.multiplyshow.com

14-28 August, 2021

This online showcase was put together by Beatrice Buckland-Willis. Originally planned for Mothership Studios in Marrickville, Sydney, the exhibition moved online at very short notice due to Covid restrictions. I'm very pleased to be included along with thirty artists working in printmaking. Please show your support by visiting the Multiply website above. 

Mat Hughes Photographer
Mat Hughes Photographer

Group Exhibition: Tacit Gallery: Still Life Prize 2021

Tacit Gallery, Johnston Street, Collingwood

Covid rescheduled dates: 8-25 September 2021

I'm pretty pleased that three of my prints have been short listed for this years Tacit Still Life Prize (out of 250 applicants/1000+ artworks). The finalist exhibition will take place at Tacit Gallery, Johnston Street, Collingwood from 8-25th September, yay! 

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Group Exhibition: Bay Windows

Gasworks Arts Park, Port Melbourne

1 May-27 June 2021

I am very pleased to have been asked to contribute eight images for the outdoor photography installation/exhibition taking place at the Gasworks Arts Park. The eight “Bay Window” images (from a series of ten) are a playful nod to those early printed postcards with their engraved illustrations, skewered colors, and cheap offset printing. They offer an exciting, stylized impression of a place, both real and yet somehow unreal.

 

"Gasworks Arts Park invites you to help us open new windows to our vibrant city. 90 images featuring the buildings, beaches and bustle of the City of Port Phillip will showcase the natural and urban environments of our sensational surroundings. This collection of curated images will be exhibited across the enormous inner wall of Gasworks Arts Park, at the corner of Pickles and Graham Streets, sharing its space with hundreds of daily visitors. The exhibition will be open seven days a week, free of charge to the public."

 

Inkjet pigment prints featuring well known locations within the City of Port Phillip are available from Bluethumb, click here.

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Group Exhibition: Flora

25 March - 1 May 2021

Organized by the City of Greater Dandenong

 

Various venues including: Walker Street Gallery, Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens, Garnar Lane Display Boxes, Alex Wilkie Reserve, Connection Art Space

I'm very pleased to have two photographs included in Flora, an exhibition taking place later this month. Flora is an immersive art program that explores the importance, beauty and fragility of nature and the plant world. Through a series of exhibitions, installations and events across the City of Greater Dandenong, Flora will offer new perspectives and renew our wonder for the plant world. The two pieces in this exhibition have been printed  using the Van Dyke Brown process.

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Group Exhibition: Photogram to Photoshop

Focal Point Darkroom & Gallery

46 Douro Street North Geelong

Wednesday-Sunday 10-5pm

If you are in the Geelong area, I have two pieces of work on display at the Focal Point Darkroom Gallery until 28th March. This group exhibition features over 100 works including experimental & historical techniques; solargrams, chemigrams, pinhole photography, gum bichromate, cyanotype, carbon transfers and Van Dyke Brown. Admission $10

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Gallery5X7

I have always loved the work of the early pioneers of American photography so I am especially pleased to be working with WJ Eastman and Gallery5X7 based in the United States. This niche online gallery represents a small number of international photographic artists working with traditional photographic processes.  I look forward to sharing my work with American collectors.  

Mat Hughes Photographer

Quarantine Project: August

Still life-balance, 2020

This body of work, six images in total, was made during last year’s Covid19 lockdown in Melbourne. The series, made over a two-week period, explores isolation and the resulting change to our life-balance. The photographs describe a state of mind, the sense of endless mundane house-bound routine against the often-overlooked simple pleasures, like watching sunlight falling on a vase of flowers.

 

These are not static vignettes; there is a chase scene. Sunlight appears to visibly race across the wall infusing the scene with a warm glow and in that perfect fraction of a second everything is in absolute balance and all of our current worries are forgotten and we can once again breathe.      

 

These photographs were made on film using a large format camera. The lens was replaced with two large magnifying glasses. A combination of film and digital techniques allowed for a negative to be contact printed for these final prints. The paper was coated by hand with a light sensitive emulsion in preparation for the 19th century, Van Dyke Brown printing process. Each print is unique and finished with bee’s wax.

Contact: 0407 822 160

matthewhughes_1@hotmail.com

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Rock'n'Roll Style

Several years ago I had the opportunity to photograph an incredible collection of old 8 track cartridges up in Queensland. The tapes were all beaten up, stored in dusty old boxes and had been played half to death. But the sheer breadth of the collection was astounding! It was a perfect musical snap shot of the 1970's and the music that I love.

I have made a range of Rock'n'Roll wall art that captures nostalgia of those days. No effort has been made to disguise the scrapes and scratches on these old tapes. These large oversized feature wall artworks are special. Framed in slick high gloss they are a statement piece of art. Available my from my Bluethumb page, click here. Don't see your favorite 1970s band? Message me for more!     

Contact: 0407 822 160

matthewhughes_1@hotmail.com

Rolling Stones Melbourne
Rolling Stones Artwork

Quarantine Projects - July

 

Elwood Bridges, 2020 

It would be fair to say that I have been busier than ever with both digital sales via the Bluethumb online gallery platform and also with direct sales of my handmade Fine Art prints.

My current fixation is with the Van Dyke Brown printing process. The results are quite lovely, very tactile and reflect the hand made nature and uniqueness of traditional photography. The process also allows me to work from my home studio under subdued lighting conditions rather than needing the full darkroom set up which is a welcome relief.

 

I currently have three quarantine projects running, Elwood bridges & two still life studies. You can view Elwood Bridges in the Fine Art Gallery above. I am pleased to say that the first run of prints sold out. Further requests will be printed to order. Still Life work will be published and available in due course. I'm also trying to clear space for new work and have a few Framed & Ready to Hang items for sale. Message me direct if there is something specific that you are after.        

Contact: 0407 822 160

matthewhughes_1@hotmail.com

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First prints sold out

Currently printing to order

Exhibition: Journeys and Discoveries - Bayside Gallery, Brighton 

29th January-8th March 2020

Brighton Town Hall, Corner Wilson and Carpenter Streets, Brighton, Victoria 3186

Free Event: Exhibition Artists in Conversation with Bayside Gallery Curators: Saturday 15th February 2pm

'Bayside Local' is a group exhibition that showcases the work of accomplished artists living in and around Bayside who have responded to the theme of 'journeys and discoveries'.

Bayside Local 2020, Melbourne

Exhibition: Group Chemistry 2019 - Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne 

Friday 30th August - 15th September 2019 

Level 1 and 2/322 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

 

“Group Chemistry 2019 is the third exhibition by the Melbourne based, Friends of Photography Group. Featuring analogue film work, the exhibition invites the viewer to experience the chemistry of photography through two different contexts: the scientific magic of the darkroom and the intangible chemistry of a group who share their knowledge, build community and encourage creativity through film photography"

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Exhibition: Extending Tradition 2 - LightBox Photographic Gallery, Astoria, Oregon 

Saturday 10th August - 11th September 2019 

1045 Marine Drive, Astoria, Oregon 97103-4219

 

“Thirty-six Photographers exhibit work celebrating the traditional approach and beauty of large format film photography. This exhibition gives recognition to those whose interest follows the masterful path of traditional large format photography. The LightBox Photographic Gallery features the work of Photographers who use traditional tools and methods from the early days of photography. Each Photographer finds their own reward in their disciplined and methodical practice which results in these distinctive and unique photographs”

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Meet the Artist - MCC (Melbourne Camera Club) 

Artist Talk Saturday 13th & 14th April 2019 

Corner of Ferrars Street & Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, Victoria

 

I`II be giving a couple of informal Artist Talks over at the MCC, South Melbourne on the 13th & 14th April. Both talks start at 12.30. I shall have a few works from my recent solo exhibition at Gasworks Arts Park and will be sharing some of the thoughts and techniques behind the work. 

Melbourne Event Listing

Exhibition: The Print Exposed - Gold Street Studios 

20th March - 26th May 2019 

700 James Lane, Trentham East VIC 3458

 

Contributing Artist for the The Print Exposed at Gold Street Studios. Features work from Australian as well as international artists. Work on display includes; albumen, carbon, copperplate photogravure, gum bichromate, gumboil, lith, chrysotype, new cyanotype, mordançage, photogravure, platinum/palladium, salt, silver gelatin and ziatypes  

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Exhibition: Quiet Time: Above Savage River

11th December - 13th January 2019 

Angela Robarts-Bird Gallery. Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park Cnr Graham/Pickles Street VIC 3206

Solo exhibition, 22 framed works include: silver gelatin prints | pinhole camera images | large format & digital formats  

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Mat Hughes News Letter:

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