A Perspective Backwards by Patrick Hughes

Exhibitions and events

A Perspective Backwards by Patrick Hughes



Patrick Hughes was born in Birmingham, England, in October 1939. His first exhibition was in 1961 and his first reverspective was made in 1964. He has been exhibiting with Angela Flowers Gallery since 1970. He has written and collated three books on visual and verbal rhetoric. Hughes' work is full of irony. By creating a world solidified into perspective he makes pictures that come alive before our eyes... It is sculpted painting, solid space.

Hughes' pictures are sculptural paintings. It is as if Hughes had the possibility to pull the vanishing points towards us from the flat painting that he is implying, such as a Rothko retrospective, or a Canaletto. In front of a Hughes the viewer is always uncertain, as the smallest movement she makes causes the picture to move in the opposite direction. Hughes' art declares that wherever you stand it will always be relative to the rest of the world, and that there is no constant but flux.

Murray McDonald, October 2005

When asked the question 'How did you start in art? Patrick Hughes replied: 'When I was nineteen I went to a training college to learn to be a teacher, specialising in English. We were asked to write about our six favourite authors, mine were Eugene Ionesco, Laurence Steme, Franz Kafka, Lewis Carroll, Samuel Butler, N.F Simpson. They said their idea of Eng.Lit was the Brontes, Thomas Hardy and George Eliot, so I should take the art option.  A visit to the British Library, St. Pancras is always a treat.  Colin St John Wilson's building is enhanced by art-works by contemporary artists and one of the pieces on the lower floor near the cloakroom causes a stir every time it is seen - Paradoxymoron by Patrick Hughes.  I've marched friends through the doors, down the stairs to the cloakroom and then put them in front of it to watch their faces shine with delight and amazement as painted library shelves move and shift in perspective.  Pure visual magic.  

What a joy, therefore, to discover at Shandy Hall a note written from Patrick to Kenneth Monkman in the late 1960's saying how much he admired Laurence Sterne and wishing success to the restoration of Shandy Hall

 Murray McDonald writes on Hughes: 'Self-reference is one of the causes of paradox, like the notice which says, 'Please Ignore this Notice'. The reverspectives of Patrick Hughes refer to themselves because they are made in the way we see and then we see them. Feedback is caused. The artist's favourite section of Tristram Shandy is Volume 6 Chapters XXXVI - XL -'... good for students, I feel. 'Graphic Arts & Design students at the University of Teesside have been invited to respond to these chapters which focus on  'Uncle Toby's amours' using multimedia, motion-graphics and book arts to create new works.  Their contributions will be included in the exhibition 'A Perspective Backwards'.

A new edition of 'Patrick Hughes Perverspective' by John Slyce was published to coincide with the recent exhibition 'Permanentspective' at Flowers East. Copies are on sale at £20.For more information about Patrick Hughes see: