Susan Hughes

Susan Hughes


As the daughter of an ardent birdwatcher, I have always been captivated by coastal regions, islands and bird sanctuaries. My attraction to the cultural heritage of coastal areas – which includes an interest in regional folklore and traditions, particularly fiddle music which I use as a tool to access and build relationships– is entwined with my desire to be confronted by the sea. Experiencing direct immersion through swimming pushes me to engage with the sea as a living, breathing space. The sea is unknown, dangerous, powerful and full of life; it is simultaneously reassuring and terrifying in its relentless rhythms. By stepping off the land and into this other world, I have the freedom to mourn and keen, or let my heart race with joy. This is what I take back to my studio.  My work over the last year has developed from a mainly 2D painterly body of work to an emphasis on video, audio and socially engaged practice. Throughout my work I attempt to create an intimacy which embodies both solidity and fragility, referencing the colours of the cold sea on my skin, a seabirds’ wingbeat or soft fantastical desire. 

Biography

I am a mixed media artist living and working in Belfast. Since graduating from University of Ulster in 2006 with a BA Hons in Fine Art, I have exhibited widely, with my work featuring in exhibitions in Northern Ireland – including the Royal Ulster Academy (2010) and Stormont Assembly Rooms Belfast (2014) – as well as venues in the Republic of Ireland, Norway and Iceland. I have received funding the Arts Council of Northern Ireland on several occasions, as well as a Community Relations Council Publications Grant. My interest in natural landscapes has led me to undertake residencies in various coastal locations, most recently in Cill Rialaig (Ireland), Kunstnarhauset Messen (Norway) and Gamli Skoli (Iceland).


susanhughesartist@gmail.com

susanhughesartist.com