Simon Hughes is a visual artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a graduate of the U of M Fine Arts program in 1996 and later, the Masters degree program at the University of California, Irvine, in 2010. His practice encompasses drawing, painting, video, and public art works. His art has been exhibited in galleries, museums, film festivals, and other venues. Hughes has had solo exhibitions with Division Gallery in Montreal and Toronto, and with Julie Saul Gallery in New York. Over the last two years he has also participated in multiple group exhibitions in museums, including the Art Gallery of Alberta, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In 2012, Hughes realized a public art commission for Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg using vitreous glass mosaic tile. Earlier this year, he was awarded a commission to create a two-dimensional public artwork for the new Windsor Park Library in Winnipeg. A recent video of his, ( Homage to Charles Schulz ), premiered at the Winnipeg New Music festival this winter.
Simon’s recent work explores concerns around landscape painting, abstraction and the environment through a series of large oil paintings, multimedia watercolour drawings, and videos. With an ever-present sense of wry humour and crisp lines holding a brilliant fan of color, Simon’s art is as iconic as it is diverse.
Division gallery in Toronto and Montreal currently represents Simon Hughes.
The following portraits document the physical, spiritual and emotional journey of a woman striving to excavate and preserve an authentic version of herself while grappling with the clashing expectations of both the lingering internal influence of a dogmatic religious upbringing and the enormous external pressure of a Western cultural framework rooted in antiquated patriarchal ideologies.
The figures are rendered completely or partially nude and in high detail to reflect the historical artistic and religious obsession with monopolizing and dictating the function and form of the female body. The repetition of the same individual in each portrait simultaneously represents the steadfast presence of an authentic “core” self and the deeply imbedded human tendency to fixate upon the elusive idea of physical perfection and the feminine ideal, particularly as it pertains to contemporary, Western women.
The animals are a consistent allusion to themes of domestication and hierarchies of dominance; in each portrait they represent the ever-shifting struggle of the subject to manage the expectations placed upon her by the forces at play.
Lifepod enroute to LANTERN from Rolla British Columbia