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Hannah Hughes’ hand-made photographic collages

Hannah Hughes’ hand-made photographic collages

Hannah Hughes’ hand-made photographic collages
May 12
11:04 2018
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Untitled #71, Flatland series, 2018 © Hannah Hughes

The Flatland series began about 2014, taking its title from Edwin A Abbott’s Victorian novella set in a two-dimensional realm, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. The collages reconfigure fragments of found printed source material from auction catalogues, journals, books, advertising imagery and magazines to create speculative new forms, situated somewhere between reproduced images and the physical world.

Assembled from an archive of hundreds of mass-produced printed images collected over a number of years, each collage is spliced, masked and overlaid by hand, removing or concealing the original figurative subject, and generating an alternative visual form in its place. The small scale of the collages reflects the dimensions of their source material, and the often undulating relief surfaces are caused by the layering, warping and stretching of different paper stocks during their assembly. By developing their own abstract language and delaying the speed at which the images can be read, their sculptural properties call into question the value and agency of the photographic image in today’s fast-paced, fragmented visual culture.

Cut from the overlooked corners, edges and in-between places surrounding photographed bodies or objects, the image fragments are transfigured into radically altered forms and liminal inner spaces. Their shapes, which are continually repeated but never identical, resemble building blocks, with an abstracted vocabulary of irregular geometries: misshapen orbs and hemispheres, curved triangles, cylinders and wave-like columns, which balance at the brink of collapse. Inverting positive and negative volumes, and using the language of reflection and diffraction, the Flatland collages record lost spaces in new forms, exploring the fugitive and unravelling nature of the fragmented image, and its potential to maintain a state of constant progression.

Untitled #68, Flatland series, 2018 © Hannah Hughes
Untitled #47, Flatland series, 2017 © Hannah Hughes
Untitled #60, Flatland series, 2017
Untitled #62, Flatland series, 2017 © Hannah Hughes

Works from the “Flatland” series by Hannah Hughes are included in “Concealer”, an exhibition curated by Tom Lovelace at Copeland Gallery, London, part of Peckham 24, from 6pm on May 18 until midnight on May 20; hannah-hughes.com

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