About the artist
Kieren Hughes is a British painter, writer and independent film producer.
Originally from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Kieren studied Art in higher education before going on to study film at Southampton’s Solent University. Currently living in London, Kieren’s work often deals with the uncertainties of modern day living; either explicitly confronting or deliberately withdrawing from such contemporary concerns as the over saturation of technology, information, subjective viewpoints, and the fragmentation of the collective constant.
Some recent work
click to view
The Three Men Who Rule the World
Sounds of a City
Figures on a Loch
Daybreaking upon an Oil Disaster
Age of Monitors
Chicago Fever Dream
The Last Privilege of an Oil Man
The Suppression Pencil and acrylic on canvas . 30 x 42cm.
Painted using a collage of hand-written notes as its base, this piece is intended to reflect the artist’s frustration at unclear and mixed messages, and to resemble a complex and somewhat violent urban environment. Amidst the visual chaos, there is still a sense of structure and repetition that is reflective of the patterns within language.
Daybreaking upon an Oil Disaster Acrylic on canvas. 42 x 32 cm.
This piece shows dawn breaking over a devastating oil spillage within an ambiguous but formidable landscape. The artist invites us to reflect on the duality of nature itself - the destructive capabilities of fossil fuels, and the life-giving power of the sun.
Age of Monitors Acrylic on canvas . 26 x 36cm.
Here we see a tiny office space as the one remaining light in a world of surrounding darkness. The painting is intended as a metaphor for the poor work/life balance in the modern world, with the the flat white rectangle of light suggesting a computer monitor, and its disproportion and contrast with the rest of the piece reflecting the inability of those immersed in a digital world to see any reality outside of it.
Chicago Fever Dream Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30cm.
A woozy, expressionistic interpretation of Chicago from the point of view of a lost and overwhelmed traveller.
Neon lights are virtually indistinguishable from the vegetation, and three versions of the city’s John Hancock Building show posters depicting sex, death and life in the style of a grand burlesque show so as to lure the traveller into the city’s darkest delights.
The Last Privilege of an Oil Man Acrylic on canvas. 30 x 42 cm.
A satirical comment on the ignorance those in power have of their global responsibilities, this painting depicts an affluent man in a private swimming pool while the world around him faces apocalyptic destruction. The hand-gun shown near the top of a broken ladder reflects both the man’s desire to keep others from entering his luxurious refuge, and his naive assumption that the he can somehow protect himself from the fire and devastation closing in on him.
Tokyo Indian ink and acrylic on canvas. 10 x 15 cm.
Achieved by applying layers of bandages to canvas and allowing different coloured inks to leak through and merge upon the surface beneath, the removal of the bandages gives the effect of ordered neon strips, like those of the high-tech, electricity-heavy characteristics of its titular city.
Wetlands Acrylic on canvas. 30 x 42 cm.
Influenced by French Impressionism, minimalism and the Japanese Edo period, this piece focuses in on the complex smaller worlds, shapes and eco systems taking place within the type of environments we would normally associate with the calming.
Tommy Two-Worlds Acrylic on canvas. 51 x 41 cm.
This painting depicts a future in which nature and technology live in some form of harmony. A young child has successfully harnessed both worlds. On his hand he wears a boxing glove to show how competent he is at such hardships, he emerges from a vaginal-like walkway as if the child of two worlds - the mechanised, autocratic brutality of the father, and the natural, fertile nature of the mother. He stares either in wonder or in anger at we who have caused these hardships.
Information Hell Indian ink and acrylic on canvas. 30 x 80 cm.
Exploring the theme of over saturation, this piece was constructed using scrapped lesson plans, to-do lists and other general notes from the artist’s everyday life to form a complex tapestry. It attempts to convey the anxiety, frustration and sense of helplessness we feel in the modern world when faced with the inability to understand everything in it. As well as being disturbing, it is also attempts to elicit beauty in its scope.
Urban Nature 1 Indian ink on canvas. 20 x 25 cm.
This piece was created by wrapping a canvas in both tape and bandages and then coating it with ink. The colours and shapes that remain once the bandages have been removed represent a combination of crashed digital domains and the intersections between urban development projects, making us question the boundary between the digital and physical realms. This piece was created simultaneously with Urban Nature 2.
Urban Nature 2 Indian ink on canvas. 20 x 25 cm.
Like it sister piece ‘Urban Nature 1', this work was created by wrapping a canvas in both tape and bandages and then coating it with ink. The colours and shapes that remain once the bandages have been removed represent a combination of crashed digital domains and the intersections between urban development projects, making us question the boundary between the digital and physical realms.
We're all Stars Anyway Acrylic on canvas. 15 x 15 cm.
An early album cover concept for the E.P ‘Matters of the Heart' by the band ‘Out the Window’. The artist felt the raw, stark tones of the album should be reflected in similarly raw, stark imagery. What was originally meant to be a match being struck, instead resembles a shooting star which ties into the album's many references to stars, the universe and its sense of a psychological descent.
Pink-Thing Moon Acrylic on wood. 30 x 31 cm.
Second concept idea for the E.P ‘Matters of the Heart' by the band ‘Out the Window’ which once again alludes to the astrological themes of the album. Painted in pink on a dark background and achieved by blowing air in a circular motion through a straw; it is deliberately unclear whether we are looking a planet, a moon or a star or something more nebulous spreading outwards organically from within a dark void.
Two Sheets to the Breeze Acrylic on canvas. 30 x 30 cm.
More concept artwork for ‘Matters of the Heart’ by Out the Window. The album is told from the point of view of someone seeing tragedy all around, and so the artists uses a white plant to symbolise innocence, and places it in front of a mirror in a dark room in order to represent this dark psychological state. The reflection is deliberately blurred to imply that reality and fantasy reflect each another, both having a bleak beauty.
The Black-Dog Blues Acrylic on wood. 30 x 31 cm.
Final choice for 'Matters of the Heart' by Out the Window. The album conjured up an image in the artist’s mind of a lonely boy from a caravan site playing football in an area dominated by an empty flyover. We see an incongruous future landscape of trees and vibrant colours representing the boy's fantasies. The goal resembles the mouth of a machine ready to swallow him, and album lyrics appear across a fence in the foreground.
Annalisa by the Window Acrylic on canvas. 42 x 32 cm.
Painted in Talloires, France in 2017, this is a portrait of the artist’s girlfriend Annalisa after preparing to attend a wedding in the village.
Her expression and gesture is curiously nervous as she stares out at the rooftops of the other buildings and the French Alps beyond.
Approaching Antarctica by Boat Acrylic on canvas. 42 x 32 cm.
Essentially a conventional impressionist landscape painting with a strong emphasis on atmosphere, this piece is from the point of view of somebody stood on the side of a boat watching as the disturbed waves disappear into the background of what could be ice caps or some sort of mountainous coast passing us by. The artist used large swipes of water scraped upwards from the waves' surfaces to somewhat blur the image, giving the impression that our view might be being distorted by the light and snowy climate and the movement of the boat.
The Three Men Who Rule the World Acrylic on canvas. 51 x 41 cm.
Taking an idea from the artist's own science fiction screenplay, 'Echo of the Drum', this piece depicts three figures - a politician, an industrialist and a criminal, playing a card game to decide the outcome of the next global power shift. It is left unclear whether they are oblivious to the destructive powers of the natural world about to consume them, or if they are somehow in control of it.
Untitled Pencil and acrylic on canvas. 30 x 42 cm.
This piece, painted over multiple layers of hand-written notes, attempts to express the idea that too much information merely leads to confusion, as well as the need to express emotion through written communication. Its colours and shapes deliberately blend organic and formal structures.
Sounds of a City Indian ink and acrylic on canvas. 51 x 41cm.
This piece attempts to express visually the feel of a busy urban environment from the perspective of the non-visual senses. The over-stimulation of overlapping sounds, smells, and temperature creates a white noise delirium reflective of the way these environments are never truly still.
Figures on a Loch Acrylic on canvas. 41 x 51 cm.
Inspired by early Impressionism, this piece reflects the artist’s need for nature and a desire for a life lived in harmony with the elements.
There is an idea of movement in the water, the passing mist, the sunlight, and the rowing boat. It is unclear whether the figures in the background are of the present, or ghostly reflections of an earlier, simpler time.
We're All Stars Anyway
Two Sheets to the Breeze
Urban Nature 1
Urban Nature 2
The Black-Dog Blues
Annalisa by the Window
Approaching Antarctica by Boat
If you would like more information about any of Kieren's artwork,
or to discuss a commission, please get in touch.
Phone 07880 866824
© All material copyright Kieren Hughes 2018.