Q&A: Beyond the…

Week by week we’ll share Q&As with our exhibiting artists. Here’s the first question and answer from our chat with Darren Hughes…

Beyond the… frame: Darren Hughes

Is there a place, a subject or process you find yourself returning to? What is it and why?

Drawing, as I mentioned, is something I use and frequently return to. I think Bethesda is the place I feel most at home, so I will always work from this area. It has the most amazing light and weather changes.. I’m always finding new ways of seeing and enjoying it’s landscape.”  

What was the inspiration or starting point for this body of work?

“The starting point for the whole body of work was a reassessment of my practice around 3 years ago. It made complete sense to return to basics and to use drawing as my main focus. Drawing has always been fundamental to my practice ever since working with Peter (Prendergast) and the other tutors on the Foundation Course. It is the most immediate way for me to explore the landscape and it’s a process I love and enjoy.

During this time, the drawing process also changed, with me using a new type of large scale paper and using charcoal pigment as a base ground, almost like painting. The layers are slowly built, creating highlights and areas of light, whilst building up the surface. Some drawings are more heavily worked, some are more delicate depending on the mood and atmosphere I wanted to create. 

I wanted to explore new areas to re-invigorate myself and my practice, finding a subject I knew would give me new pictorial problems to work out… new spaces, a differently constructed landscape.. This is how the work about the quarry hospital and the beach in Pentraeth came about. Having such a strong connection to Pentraeth, I’ve always wanted to make a serious set of work about the beach, so I began with walks along the river out to the shoreline and the drawings are a document of this in a way. Also they are places where I played throughout my childhood, and some paintings specifically relate to memories as a child of scorching summer days.”

Another Q&A will be shared next week!

Darren Hughes’ ‘NATIVE PLACES’ on-line Exhibition: