I hope to develop an intimacy with my viewers that relates to both the animals involved in the work and the issues surrounding their treatment by humans. I attempt to create a balance in my work between quiet sentimentality and strong statement. My goal is to demonstrate that art can make powerful statements about our relationship with animals, without exploiting them for this end. I would like my audience to think about animals as something more than pests, pets, or food, and to examine the contradictions in their own emotional relationship with animals and their physical dependence on their meat. At a fundamental level, many members of Western society understand it is wrong to kill an animal and few people would do so themselves. It is also, of course, very easy to say that what is wrong is often normal, and we live in a society based on industry regulated killing of animals and distribution of their flesh for eating. I do not agree with this contradiction, and in my artwork and broader research I have aimed to investigate the issues surrounding this use of animals for human endeavours.
Recurrent aesthetic and theoretical themes within my work include:

  • Seriality: The term ‘seriality’ traditionally describes a group of items related to each other by the fact that each, or most, of the items bears a collective title that applies to the group as a whole. My interpretation of the use of this word is applied in a visual and conceptual sense, and is implemented in most of the practical works completed. The difference between seriality and repetition is that each individual component is different in some consistent way, sharing one to a few consistencies. The works sit alongside each other in order to draw the viewer in for an extended period; to tell a story.
  • Interactivity: In some artworks created viewers were urged to participate in different ways in order to deepen their relationship with the work by making them a part of it.
  • Sentimentalism: Sentimentalism in art is often seen as a negative factor, as it relies primarily on feelings as opposed to reason. Although riddled with logical reasons for its existence, animal rights is a movement guided heavily by emotion. A majority of people are originally drawn to it simply because they love animals. My work is certainly guilty of using sentimental musings in order to create intimacy with my viewers, and I am okay with that.
  • Humour: Animal rights is a heavy issue when discussed seriously, and this fact can make people feel quite out of their depth, defensive, or disheartened. I have attempted to keep my work light-hearted wherever possible so to not sever ties with my audience.
  • Delicacy: A lot of my work has required many, many hours of delicate, frustratingly cathartic work. This may be a symptom of being unwilling to let go of the work, but I have also seen it as a process to rid myself of human guilt, to pay homage. This feeling is also applied to the process of seriality. If I draw one hundred cows, I am one hundred cows closer to feeling absolved.
  • Disposability: I have used disposable items as the backing for many of my artworks, such as bottle caps, empty jars, pizza boxes, takeaway containers and other miscellaneous food packaging. I believe this signifies the disposable nature we see animals as harbouring.
  • Moss: I began using moss initially as I was drawn to its aesthetic elements, but upon researching and developing my work with moss, I realised that it was impossible to kill. Moss is a non-vascular organism, so you can pull it apart, allow it to dry up; but upon watering it, it will return to its fluorescent green state almost immediately. I enjoyed the use of this as an analogy for the pain and neglect that animals endure, and even through all that, they still, for the most part, survive. It is a positive note in an otherwise particularly dismal topic of creative exploration.
  • Photocopy: I am particularly interested in experimenting with photocopy technology within my studio work. The process of photocopying takes away from the ‘fine art’ aspect of the work and reduces the importance of the image as a work of art. This heightens the status of the animals in the images and therefore the message that the work is trying to present.

Exhibitions
•   2015 Third Birthday Celebration, Australian Cultural Library, Toowoomba.
•   2014 The Holocene Winter, Solo, Jugglers Artspace, Brisbane.
•   2014 Hey Ho/Lets Go, Poly Gone Cowboy, Brisbane.
•   2013 Box Monthly, curated, The Box, Brisbane.
•   2012 2high Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane.
•   2012 The Word Conterminous 3, Bleeding Heart Gallery, Brisbane.
•   2012 The Word Conterminous 2, Jugglers Artspace, Brisbane.
•   2011 The Word Conterminous 1, Jugglers Artspace, Brisbane.
•   2011 Stick Em Up: Critters, Triple Zed, Brisbane.
•   2011 Animals, People… a Shared Environment, Pop Gallery, Brisbane.
•   2011 In Remembrance of Animals, solo, Pop Gallery, Brisbane.
•   2011 Stepping Up, Pop Gallery, Brisbane.
•   2011 Pigs and Reindeer and a lot of Wasted Youth, solo, Umbrella Studio, Townsville.
•   2010 X Show, Jugglers Artspace, Brisbane.
•   2010 Baklavic Nevakov & the Contextual Confusion, solo, Jugglers Artspace, Brisbane.
•   2010 Eviscerating Tiere, solo, Whitebox Project Space, QCA, Brisbane.
•   2009 Untitled, solo, Ziegelhuette Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany.
•   2009 Now & Then, Q150 Exhibition, Umbrella Studio, Townsville.
•   2009 Tales of the Uncanny, Artspaced, Townsville.
•   2008 Art Sex Propaganda, The Art Space, Townsville.
•   2008 The Last Tree on Google, solo, Gallery 48, Townsville.
•   2008 The Ampersand Heretic, A Little White Space, Townsville.
•   2007 The Seventh Noir, solo, Ellen Quinn Gallery, Ipswich.
•   2007 The Seventh Noir, solo, Umbrella Studio, Townsville.
•   2007 Urban Legends, The Art Space, Townsville.
•   2007 Pony in the Post Office, A Little White Space, Townsville.
•   2006 Open Ended, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
•   2006 Faux Jugend, Umbrella Studio, Townsville.
•   2006 Forward, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
•   2006 Cardboard Cutout Clouds, Vincent Gallery, Townsville.

Contact
mail@angelahughes.org
0402516142

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-Kate Higgins, “Sacrifice Remembered in Exhibition," Courier Mail, http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/central/sacrifice-remembered-in-exhibition/story-fn8m0qb4-1226102869984.
-"Angela Hughes - In Remembrance of Animals," POP Gallery, http://popgallery.com.au/?p=996.

-"Pace Project - Fast Friends," Brisbane Institute of Art, http://pace-at-bia.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/work-of-angela-hughes.html.
-"Baklavic Nevakov & the Contextual Confusion," Jugglers Art Space, http://www.jugglers.org.au/2010/08/18/-baklavic-nevakov-the-contextual-confusion-angela-hughes-3-24-september-2010.
-"Colloquial Bryophytec," Umbrella Studio, http://www.umbrella.org.au/gallery/47-15-april-main/detail/162-angela-hughes-colloquial-bryophytec-2009?tmpl=component.
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Jak Henson, "Arts Practice Through Research," Artgaze Autumn 2011, http://artgazemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/ArtGaze-13.-Autumn-2011.pdf.
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"Cane Growth by Angela Hughes," 2high Festival, http://www.2highfestival.com.au/exhibitions.php.
-"Pigs and Reindeer and a lot of Wasted Youth," James Cook University, http://www.jcu.edu.au/blogs/atjcu/entry/pigs_and_reindeer_and_a.