Dates: August, 2017
ArtBox is delighted to announce Helen Hughes as our latest PROCESS Residency artist. Hughes will take over the space at ArtBox for the period of August. Helen Hughes’ practice is predominantly sculptural, using expendable materials from modern mass production systems. Often developed for specific sites, materiality is central to the work and both found objects and purchased industrial products are utilised. Colour is prominent, in particular colour that is innate to materials.
Reflecting on consumerism and focusing in particular on the area of intersection between the individual and the structural, this artist strives to humanise a seemly dehumanised behaviour linked to materialism. Materials include isocyanates, resins, and plastic along with readymade commodities. Switching the importance of form over function the component elements are playfully reworked through removal, addition and recasting, to disguise or reveal appearances and draw attention to latent qualities in the materials. No longer presenting the homogenous manufacture of industrial products, materials and objects begin to mimic each other and other things. A process of fluid and gestural physical engagement is used to activate machine finished forms and force them out of an inertia. Often shiny and alluring, selected materials can be wilful, unpredictable and difficult to control. Working against their intended use by disrupting the designed functioning of these materials allows the artist to probe the homogeneity of mass production. Adding layers of history, the intention of the work is to present combinations of altered consumerist objects and relations to connect with narratives of memory and subjectivity. Just as mass-produced goods are utilised physically, titles are found and borrowed from a number of typically mass-media sources.
Hughes completed a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and MA from IADT in Visual Arts Practices, recent exhibitions include A Bounce Borrowed, The Dock, Leitrim (2017), Tulca Festival, Galway (2016) and Veins, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin (2016).