Nicholas Hughes. The Sound of Space Breathing (Verse III)

Nicholas Hughes. The Sound of Space Breathing (Verse III) #11. Limited Edition.

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Edition number 1 of 8.

All works are hand printed in the darkroom onto silver gelatin fibre-based paper.

About the Work

The Sound of Space Breathing 2015 - 2021

How do we set about repairing our dysfunctional relationship with Nature and fully waken to all that we are offered by return?

In the making of my work, I regularly crave isolation to reduce distraction and regain concentration levels, walking which plays a major role in my practice allows me the time to shed the everyday preoccupations that our increasingly frenetic world throws at us. The silence this can afford can be complimentary to Photography in many respects.

Rather than seeking out the worlds’ beauty through travel – I take considerable time to study my immediate surroundings, the aim being to seek out the beautiful in the immediate as an aspect of our responsibility to the present. The recent lockdowns perhaps offered this potential to many who wished to become better acquainted with their own locale.

We do not often take or have the time to just be, although we refer to ourselves as human beings, we are more often than not - engaged in the act of doing.

In my work a certain subject matter becomes my muse until I have teased out how it makes me feel – it is about pursuing each image to its conclusion regardless of how long it takes.

In spending a lengthy time in the same location - it is as though rather than looking at the scene you gradually become a part of it and rather than capturing what you might see on first sight this act of looking over time can evolve. It’s about being lost in the thereness of Nature - being in a space and the space being within you.

When out walking, light is rarely static – I wanted to show that and aimed to offer an immersive experience - a sensory connection through moments akin to breaking the skin to another world.

In those spaces where human ‘progress’ and all its attendant noise are quieted, where all that is heard are the sounds of the space itself – in the creaking of a branch bending in the wind or the falling of leaves – somehow offered a glimpse of the eternal we feel as much as see the sound of space breathing.

There is an ongoing conversation that exists between the Verses (the way I structure my series in keeping with a poem or a hymn) a communication of my growing understanding of the experiential potential of the representation of Nature through the otherworldliness of grey tones and the response of light to film.

Revelations come over time – slow time.  It is often in the detail that the greatest insights take place. The wood grain is as the rippled puddle – the spacing of stars in the night sky akin to the flower heads breaking the surface of the pond. Through nature - all makes sense, all things flow one into the other, no matter how far we divorce ourselves from the natural world we are inescapably a part of it, and it is perhaps in remembering that our best chance for salvation lies.

Nicholas Hughes (March 2022)

About the Photographer

Nicholas Hughes was born in Liverpool in 1963 and studied photography at the London College of Communication. His theoretical concerns are borne out in his artistic process, which marries the analog to the digital as deftly as it does the physical to the atmospheric. Hughes' work has been shown in over seventy group and solo exhibitions worldwide, as well as at the world's major international art fairs in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York.

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