I put a spell on you
Galleria Ars Libera, Kuopio, Finland
7.5 – 30.05.2021
“I PUT A SPELL ON YOU” is a strange web of paintings that explore the dreamy realm of magic, religion and superstition. The title pays tribute to blues singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins eerie and provocative performance of ‘I Put a Spell on You,’ in 1956.
Hughes is an image hunter. The found image is re-imagined in paint. The tangible photo from the outside world is an access point to dig into the intangible inner worlds, that the artist hopes will resonate again to the outer world interweaving the social and the personal through the painting process.
Her methods of working embrace a kaleidoscopic way of thinking, engaging with disparate images from popular culture to the obscure margins in serious and playful ways. The personal selection of images doesn’t necessarily follow any defined logic of history, place or time; the selecting is intuitive and the paintings develop their own emotional textures and visual fictions. Her work is informed by her longstanding fascination and affection for outsiders and obscure histories of all sorts. She is intrigued by the thin lines between beliefs, delusion and deceit especially now in the era of mass image consumption and mis-information.
The works depict a range of subjects from fortune tellers to magic paraphernalia to scenes of headless women or figures in cryptic scenarios. The visual temperature oscillates from vibrant pulpy aesthetics to cooler muted tones. The paintings create deliberate non-linear narratives, surreal fragments jumbled together offered to the viewer to unscramble and project their own meanings, connections and stories.