Broken Monument, 2007
mixed media on silk screen, 105 x 90 cm
The Topiarist's Collection
Wyer Gallery is pleased to announce "The Topiarist's Collection". Artist Graeme Hughes presents a powerful new series of paintings on silk and large-scale work on paper, which mark a significant development in his practice and his first exhibition of new work in London since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2005.
Involved in an ongoing land art project in the jungle of Central America, Hughes' environs, off and on, for the last few years has been peopled by deadly snakes, scorpions, spiders and the occasional drug trafficker. As such, he has become intrigued by situations that rouse our innermost fears and instincts. Making work in these scenarios, his ideas have likewise been concerned with extremities of his situation. However, a printmaker by training, Hughes' practice has for a long time been preoccupied with pushing the boundaries of his medium. In "The Topiarist's Collection", Hughes stretches his practice one stage further and, by a process of stripping away, explores the space between the lucidity of the painted and drawn mark and the mechanised process of printmaking itself. Accustomed to using drawing and painting as a starting point for his work and intrigued by the textural possibilities of painting directly onto silk screens as primary supports in their own right, Hughes has applied Indian ink and charcoal directly onto screen print frames, in order to produce a sort of hybrid art object which blurs the line between process and finished state.
In addition to Hughes' exploration of mark making and process, and referring again to his Central American associations, his work encompasses the idea of exploration and colonisation alongside the 18th and 19th century peculiarly Western custom of collecting. Hughes' work is concerned with things that, as a result, have somehow become lost, forgotten or controlled. That very English past time of "Topiary" becomes both a metaphor and reminder for all these things, which Hughes himself collects, records and takes on a journey through which they are worked, reworked, shifted around and juxtaposed. "The Topiarist's Collection" becomes a collage of all his collections.
Exhibition: 29 November 2007 - 2 January 2008
Gallery hours: Tues-Fri - 10 am - 6 pm, Sat 10 am - 5 pm,
or by appointment
191 St. John's Hill
GB-London SW11 1TH
Telephone +44 (0)20 7223 8433