NOTE: Full disclosure here, I was introduced to Emily Hughes when she contacted me regarding my long-suffering Grimey Studios project. I recommended her as an artist for MEA before I was a member of the same, so, I am discussing her here as a friend despite her current MEA show. That’s just fortuitous.
Alright, after a time period best described as “entirely too long,” I think we’re do a look at the work of Emily Hughes, a friendly acquaintance of mine. Emily, who’s in charge at the Logansport Art Association here in Indiana, is a fairly activist-minded, er, illustrator? Just what do you call someone who’s work is primarily drawing (charcoal, ink, colored pencil)? Draw-er just sounds weird, albeit amusing. Illustrator, though, now that sounds respectable, if inaccurate. Hmm…
Moving on, her work is line based, so any comments I have about it being strongly based on line and detail seem a bit silly, but it’s still worth noting that there is a very strong textural presence to her line-handling. Emily’s lines rarely stop and outlining, and go on to form tight, knotted swirls defining trunks, and bark, and other dense, textural areas.
Most of her pieces are in what she’s calling her “Tree Concentration,” the exact concept of which I intend sit down and talk with her about sometime. Overall, the series seems to work by contrasting human figures in their naked state against marshy scenes of trees and related flora. Suggestions of ensnarement (or entwinement, depending on how at peace the figure is with te interaction) crop up frequently.
And, while so far the large, full-color piece I opened this post with appears to get the most comment and attention, I personally prefer her more muted, layered works, such as “Introduction To Color,” with it’s very limited color palette and contrasted figures and situations (not to mention the swirling textural lines and the many fine branches that keep encouraging me to pay closer attention to the technical craft that created it.)
But, whatever of her works you prefer, she is MEA‘s featured artist for this month, so any of you in the Indianapolis area (or a bit farther, if you don’t mind the drive) can see eight of her works hanging at Urban Element from now until June 4th.