Jack Hughes:Dreamscape (Rowing Boat)
Signed on reverse
Oil and pastel on canvas
63 x 78 3/4 inches
Jack Hughes’ work is deeply rooted in personal experiences of his childhood and increasingly the artist has become interested in dreams as the starting point for his paintings. Hughes has recorded a dream diary for the past few years, in which he documents his dreams that are tied to his personal memories of people and places.
Dreamscape (Rowing Boat) is one of the most recent examples of this subject matter. The painting blurs the lines between real and imagined. Situated in a bay filled with boats surrounded on all sides by mountains, the location is derived from lived experience which Hughes depicts through the distorted perspective of memory. At the centre of the painting’s foreground is a lone figure, with their head tilted back in repose, appearing asleep. Perhaps it is this figure’s dream that we are viewing. They appear to hover over the landscape, distanced from it by the artist’s strong use of graphic line.
The painting’s heavy use of bold, saturated colour is typical of Hughes’ approach, in which he builds his scenes from layers of paint, often using pink as the foundation from which to build upon. Hughes manipulates his pink, purple and blue colour palette to give form and texture to the painting’s landscape. His use of rich deep blue creates a calm, flat body of water in the painting’s centre, which contrasts with the rugged lines of the mountains.
This contrast helps to skew the perspective of the painting, playfully oscillating between flatness and depth which lends the work a surreal quality. The deft handling of composition and form simultaneously adds vivacity and peacefulness that gives the work its dream-like quality.
B. United Kingdom 1997
Jack Hughes (born 1997) gained his BA in Fine Art from the Arts University Bournemouth in 2018.
Hughes’ paintings are characterised by bold pink under-painting. Since graduation, the artist’s practice has shifted from explorations of existentialism to bold, densely saturated depictions of his upbringing. Hughes’ current work is rooted to his own personal experience of childhood, drawing on his dreams and memories to create a sense of nostalgia.
He has been exhibited throughout the UK and in Europe.
He lives and works in London.