silver and gold

 

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© images by Emily Hughes, 2017

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winter’s reverie

winter landscape1

I

winter landscape2

II

© words and images Emily Hughes, 2015

surf

A one-off commission I created for a special surf-loving couple of the Welsh coastline near Bridgend. I overlaid textures from the rocks and cliffs nearby to give a feel of the local landscape.

surf

 

© images and words Emily Hughes, 2015

 

 

scapelands

In order to have a feel for landscape you have to lose your feeling of place.

(J.F. Lyotard, from “Scapeland” 1989)

 

In his essay “Scapeland” (1989), Lyotard apprehends a sense of landscape as a kind of non-space which defies topography, history and geography. His is a bleak picture of a guarded, clandestine, unreal, uninhabitable space without destiny. For Lyotard a landscape is a violent, disruptive force; like a freeze frame of a camera it seizes time, interrupting the linear narrative and the order of place (1989: 216). It is impossible to describe with words – somehow they become cumbersome and heavy – which are powerless because the landscape has already worked on the mind, dissolving it, and has “made it vomit itself up towards the nothingness of being there” (1989: 20-21). […] I often feel that the act of taking a photograph is intrusive, almost aggressive […] The negation of place which is landscape is violent in its passivity. It is there, yet it arrests us, and denies us something at the same time.

[extract from an essay I wrote about in-between space in 2002]

 

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© images and words Emily Hughes, 2014

 

 

destination

travel on diptych3

The journey of a photograph is looking for new participants. It has been such a creative and inspiring journey, but it’s not ready to end yet. Currently the photograph resides in New Zealand, and although I’m sure it’s enjoying it’s little sojourn there by the beach with Maureen of  kiwissoar (and how envious I am of it), it needs to move on to new destinations. If you are an artist, writer, photographer, or any other type of uncategorisable creative being (aren’t they the best types?) and think you might have something to add to the journey, please contact me , or sign up via the blog. Contributions have been varied and unique, each and every one,  from solargraphs to mosaics, and poetry: check out the blog to see where the photograph has been and what it has inspired thus far. I can promise your practice and even your being will be enriched for it.  And you get to join a wonderful little virtual community of creative minds.

The journey is an entirely collaborative effort. Visit the blog to read more about its beginnings.

Here’s to travelling onwards…

Emily

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

The changeling

Hide and Seek final

Hide and Seek

*******

She was a girl. Well, a woman really. But somewhere inside all those layers of time which grew her up to a mismatch of then and before and here and now and tomorrow, there was a small, hard, kernel in which she kept the essence of her. And that was a child. A child who used to doodle and daydream; a child who used to meander and explore. A child who dreamed of big, exciting things happening to her… big things which turned out to be smaller than she expected. More subdued and less intense. Now the mundane tones of her humdrum life found her treading an easy pattern; tapping a regular rhythm which kept things cheerful, and light. But sometimes she still longed and yearned for that space to dream. That wide-open space to travel to the very corners of her imagination and rummage around, turning up marbles keen as cat’s eyes and pebbles caressed into mythical creatures, or chipped stray buttons which appeared to her with their pale milky lustre like delicate shards of the moon. These and other peculiar things would keep her entertained, feeding her long play hours until bedtime. Sometimes books could take her back there, but they were too easily discarded. Dog-eared pages turned over. Substitute coffee mats, a reminder of time lost.

Time was ticking louder in her head than it used to, and one day she decided to embark upon a journey. She found herself in a wood, following an overgrown, abandoned path flanked by tall, knowing trees which whispered to her feet. The path was long and tiresome, spiralling around into hazy misfortunes which confused her, but she followed the intermittent trickle of honeyed laughter, which darted and weaved about the trees impetuously. She found that her bare feet were sure and quick enough, to her surprise, faithfully marching out the stark, soundless rhythm of the ticking clock.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

With each step the woman grew frailer, and more sure of her destination. Eventually she came across a square, framed mirror suspended from an impossibly slight tree branch. The frame was gilded and elaborate, adorned with swirls and delicate flowers. The glass was mottled and badly scratched, but she was just able to make out the etchings of her familiar furrowed expression, her red dress – which seemed ragged and ill-fitting – and the merest smudge of her long hair, which she was surprised to see looked dull and grey. She closed her eyes and, fancying herself as Alice, prepared to be launched into an implausible storybook adventure. Yet when she opened them she found she hadn’t moved from her spot. She peered down to inspect her feet, willing them to move onwards, but noticed with some curiosity that they had widened and grown sturdy. Her toes, long and thin, had rooted themselves into the yielding earth and were lightly carpeted with tufts of dank, green moss. But I only closed my eyes for a second she wondered aloud, absently.

She looked up and gave the mirror a challenging stare.

Nothing.

The teasing laughter had returned, but it was close now. Behind her… yes — yes! Right behind that tree trunk! She whipped her body around suddenly, her feet still rooted to the spot.

Silence.

At last she submitted her frost blue eyes upwards, beseeching the ancient giants which waited patiently for her. Their long, eerie green trunks bowed inwards and their domed hemispheres blocked out the sky so she could not tell if it was night or day, summer or winter. Tears began to roll down her waxen face, tracing her muted features until they reached her lips. The tang of the salt water jolted her back to awareness as it stung the crevices of her cold cracked lips and trickled down her warm tongue. She drank thirstily, down into her blue veins. Right down towards her waiting feet.

After some time she nodded to the trees and twisted her arms gracefully around her thickening torso.

She waited.

A stilled silence shrouded the woods like a fog.

Finally, she let her head droop sullenly, and as she did, she just caught the wispy image of the laughing child wavering in the mirror before her.

*******

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

Interlude

I’m back! And so is the photograph. Following a brief interlude, it resumes its journey. Read about the Journey of a Photograph Project here…

Journeyofaphotograph

Interlude final

‘Interlude’

The Journey final

‘The Journey’

The intimate is not a space but a relationship between spaces.

– Beatriz Colomina

I was forced, recently, to take a break from blogging. Not really by choice, but because life burst forth in a relentless tidal wave of busyness (as it does every year at the same time), and something had to give. However, I have been continuing to make pictures, and the past few months has been a process of consolidation and gathering together of things which I have been thinking about and working on for a long time, years even. I have not made any ‘new’ pictures as such; it is the nature of photography that you can be extremely prolific when you are clicking a button (that’s the easy part), yet it’s the editing that take the time; the drawing together the threads of the narrative and the sifting through the rubble to seek out those lustrous gems. It has been more a process of looking back, reflecting, and…

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