Sutton Gallery is pleased to announce Sing a Rainbow Too an exhibition of recent paintings by New Zealand based artist Sara Hughes. In this exhibition Hughes considers infant visions and the development of colour sensitivity and depth of perception in babies.
I have an ongoing concern with the complexity of colour which has recently been influenced by watching my two young children develop their visual systems. I have been fascinated to watch their visual world develop and expand and to notice how they respond to visual changes and detect patterns. These new paintings are influenced by seeing the world through their eyes.
In these paintings Hughes utilises spraying paint in place of applying by brush, which has allowed her to lightly build up fine layers of colour. By masking and revealing the artist builds up contrast and gradation. The materiality is an attempt to work with the elusiveness of colour and to echo Walter Benjamins sentiment from his writing on ‘A Childs View of Colour’… that colour is “a winged creature that flits from one form to the next”.
Colour and line entangle in these works, where foreground and background interchange, suggesting fragmented kaleidoscopes and prisms of light. Hughes is interested in the complexity of vision and how colour is a product of how our eyes interpret electromagnetic radiation. I use colour in the paintings to create nuance and saturation, focus is both sharp and hazy as I try to imagine seeing the world anew.
Sara Hughes’ practice has attracted significant attention throughout Australasia, winning both the Wallace Art Award and the Norsewear Art Award in 2005, whilst in 2008 she was the first New Zealand recipient of The RIPE: Art and Australia magazine Art Award. She has been selected to participate in a number of notable residencies including the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, in 2007; and Creative New Zealand’s Berlin Visual Artists Residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien between 2008 and 2009. Hughes’ paintings and installations are held in many important Australasian public and private collections, including the Chartwell Collection, Auckland City Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Monash University, Melbourne; and the University of Auckland Art Collection. Hughes completed a MFA in painting in 2001 from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. Her work has been published widely appearing in international art and architecture magazines including Art in America, Artlink, Art in Australia and Monument. Hughes has also undertaken a number of high profile public commissions, including a temporary installation entitled Heat Wave at Federation Square, Melbourne, in 2010. In 2013/14 she completed two large-scale permanent works for the ANZ lobby in Auckland, as well as a series of striking outdoor works for the re-opening of Cathedral Square in the centre of Christchurch.Artist’s profile