In Flux, 2015
“In Flux” is a collection of five exquisite hand-framed inkjet pigment prints.
Each work features a deceptively simple “still-life vignette” assembled from found objects; rock, grass, twigs and leaves. There`s a strong compositional aesthetic from eastern art flowing through the work which is both minimal and modern and evokes a sense of balance. The project was born from a desire to capture a small “frozen moment of calm” in an otherwise changing natural landscape. As the work developed it became apparent that the frozen moment I was seeking was a lot closer to home than I first I thought…
In 2012, I became a father and stay at home Dad. As such I`ve had to kiss goodbye thoughts of quiet artistic pursuit. Jumping in the car at dawn with a bag of camera gear was no longer a possibility with a toddler in tow!
The five limited edition artworks in the “In Flux” series were made using natural materials found whilst out walking the dog. In true still-life fashion, they were assembled on the kitchen table and shot using natural light. I bought the landscape inside to me. From the start these images were influenced by; Ikebana, Sumi-e ink painting and turn of the century portraiture. I was also interested in the traditional presentation and ways of viewing Chinese & Japanese scroll paintings.
These original inkjet pigment prints (giclée) are reproduced on 310gsm archival rag and framed in hand-made Victorian Ash frames with Merbau corner spline detailing. These images continue to explore my fascination with the landscape that I move across and find myself in. They also remind me that geology and flora are in constant evolutionary flux. Nothing remains the same. Cultural shifts overlay and add to the flux. The tree pictured, with needle-like leaves is known by indigenous people as the Wayetuk or Gneering tree. More recently it`s known as the Drooping She Oak.
Towards the end of this six-month project, in a strange twist of clarity, I realised that these images were autobiographical from an angle that I hadn`t expected… perhaps they simply described that quiet place far, far away from Peppa Pig and her muddy puddles...
"In Flux represents still life at its most serene and intriguing. The works are beautifully presented with an ancient eastern sensitivity to colour, texture and space. These works gently raise questions that don’t need to be answered and beg the admirer to return again and again to experience their mystique” Jacqui Thomas, Hatch-d.com.au
“Mat Hughes` recent work (In Flux) is a polished and beautifully framed series of images that just work, either individually or as a series” J Forsyth, Melbourne Arts Club Gallery