LUMINOUS CHAT: Interview with Adriene Hughes
Adriene Hughes is a multi media artist whose current body of artistic work is based within the Desert Climates. She is interested in conceptual approaches concerning the current crisis of global warming through the use of photography, video and multi-media installation.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at the Center for Fine Arts Photography in Ft. Collins, Co; Public Outdoor installation at the Boston Art on the Marquee at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center; PhotoPhore New Media Festival, Hong Kong; and at the Tasmania Int’ Media Arts Festival. She holds an M.F.A. from Tufts University and School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is currently an Educator and Managing Producer Director at The Media Teaching Labs, University of California, San Diego.
Your first contact with the art: For the last two years I have been experimenting with an older full-spectrum DSLR and hacked the sensor to remove the IR filter built into its framework. It took me some time to understand the nuances of infrared and its abilities on the landscape. Initially I centered most of my concentration on the deserts in Southern California where I live, which gave me an appreciation for desert climates in general.
Your path through the art: I am very interested in the impact of human intervention on global warming. As an artist and photographer I believe every voice counts. I choose to take a position where scientific research is paramount and the visual occupies as documentary evidence. I have attempted to use my camera as a way to talk about the landscape, our connection to environment, and the changes upon earth.
Your inspirations: The photographer Edward Burtynsky, who evaluates the landscape beyond the monument, has my first source of inspiration. The impression he made upon my own artistic process instilled a particular ethic to investigate the landscape not as object, rather through a spiritual and political lens. This particular infrared project is based in Iceland. Because of the volcanic nature of Iceland over one third is an official desert and considered Europe’s largest. Iceland in its present state is an extreme example of erosion and loss due to deforestation and overuse of lands. It is believed sheep brought to Iceland by the Vikings caused the erosion over many centuries, and with it the loss of soil. The presence of vegetation, grass, and moss is now minimal.
Your aspiration: My artistic aspirations are day-to-day, and it’s not a part of my artistic process to conceptualize too far in advance for any project.
Your favourite artwork (made by you): My favorite photograph is of my Mother standing on her toes with my dog in the foreground. She and I have a tenuous relationship, but photographing her has been important to me on my levels. The project of the whole lives here: www.adrienehughes.com/lillian
Your favourite artwork (not made by you): John Luther Adam – The Wind in High Places.
Your 3 favourite photographers and why: Edward Burtansky – he introduced me to large scale ecological landscape; Larry Sultan – his ability to capture intimacy between humans; and Hellen Van Meene – I’ve always loved her way of capturing the sense of a person with only available light.
Why photography: The first time I hand developed a roll of 35mm film and looked at the negative, I knew I had found home.
Your relationship with the other arts: I was a musician and ballet dancer in my youth. The practice of sound and meter is responsible for my understanding of art in general.
Images courtesy of Adriene Hughes