Academic journal article Hecate

Cover Art: Natalya Hughes

Academic journal article Hecate

Cover Art: Natalya Hughes

Article excerpt

Natalya Hughes is best known for works that explore feminism and art history, and borrow from the tradition of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Produced from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, these prints portrayed the fleeting pleasures of affluent Japanese society--the term ukiyo-e literally means "pictures of the floating world." (1) In Animal 2012, Hughes floats recycled images of two female common garden spiders and a whip spider over a popular quilting pattern. The composite image requires the viewer to interpret the individual elements in relation to each other, as well as the implications of the whole. This work was first shown at Milani Gallery, Brisbane (2012), in the exhibition Significant Men, which featured paintings Hughes described as portraits of the men in her life, both real and imaginary. Here, the images and background combine to form an unflattering portrait of one of the men--the brightly patterned background is reminiscent of the costume traditionally worn by the agile and cunning Harlequin. In another layer of irony, female spiders are known for eating their mates following intercourse and, in this context, infer a marked distrust of the male subject.

Born in 1977 in Macksville, New South Wales, Hughes graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 2001 with Honours in Fine Arts. She was awarded the Queensland Art Gallery's Melville Haysom Memorial Art Scholarship in 2002, and from 2004 to 2009 completed a PhD Art Theory/ Art History and Fine Arts, at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney. …

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