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‘Looking Full’ at Beam Contemporary

Natalya Hughes latest collection of work deconstructs, reconfigures and rewrites figurative images to form partially abstracted and highly patterned psychological worlds. Working broadly across painting, print, animation and installation, Hughes conflates the boundaries between beauty and the grotesque, realism and abstraction.

In her new series of paintings, Looking Full, Hughes continues this exploration finding, inspiration in traditional Japanese woodblock prints that depict demur female portraits. Here, Hughes reconstructs these portraits to create imagery that straddles figurative and abstract patterning. This process, together with her use of titles, such as ‘Looking Itchy’, ‘Looking Suitable’, ‘Looking as if she wants to Change’, uncovers the latent characteristics of these sitters. In turn they invite a different kind of ‘look’.


Natalya Hughes, Looking Cool, 2013, Acrylic on ply board. Courtesy of the artist.


Exhibition runs 22rd March – 27th April at Beam Contemporary; level 1, 30 guildford lane melbourne victoria 3000 australia

Hero image: Natalya Hughes, Looking as if She Wants to Change, 2013, Acrylic on ply board. Courtesy of the artist.