Open Eye Gallery, Wood Street
5th August - 27th September 2005
New Works is a collection of pictures taken by UK
photographer Stephen Hughes over a four year journey across Europe and
America, where he aimed to capture “places and people that seem
to exist on the fringes of the urban and natural landscape”.
Don’t be fooled by the quite impressive image above of a concrete
silo set against the snow in Buffalo, USA; few of the pictures are that
interesting. In fact most of Hughes’ images are the epitome of bland,
but I think that is his point.
Most of the untitled pictures are taken in miserable weather, with average
composition and by and large the most unexciting of subjects; patchy woods,
houses in the American suburbs, desolate beaches with usually only one
or two lonely figures hanging around on the fringes. I guess what Hughes
is trying to capture is the everyday average scenery and life seen on
the fringes of major centres of population, neither the bustling city
nor the dramatic countryside. If this is his idea then he has captured
this truth well with the likes of empty playgrounds in Italy and the edge
of a paintball arena in the USA. While it is part of the job of artists
to show the truth, unfortunately this particular truth makes for rather
bland viewing, interesting at best.