Jane Hughes: I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
7 – 30 Mat at Galleria Ars Libera, Maaherrankatu 3, Kuopio
Opening hours: Wed–Fri 14–18 + Sat–Sun 12–17.
“I PUT A SPELL ON YOU” is a strange web of paintings that explore the dreamy realm of magic, religion and superstition. The title pays tribute to blues singer Screamin’ Jay Hawkins eerie and provocative performance of ‘I Put a Spell on You,’ in 1956.
Hughes is an image hunter. The found image is re-imagined in paint. The tangible photo from the outside world is an access point to dig into the intangible inner worlds, that the artist hopes will resonate again to the outer world interweaving the social and the personal through the painting process.
Her methods of working embrace a kaleidoscopic way of thinking, engaging with disparate images from popular culture to the obscure margins in serious and playful ways. The personal selection of images doesn’t necessarily follow any defined logic of history, place or time; the selecting is intuitive and the paintings develop their own emotional textures and visual fictions. Her work is informed by her longstanding fascination and affection for outsiders and obscure histories of all sorts. She is intrigued by the thin lines between beliefs, delusion and deceit especially now in the era of mass image consumption and mis-information.
The works depict a range of subjects from fortune tellers to magic paraphernalia to scenes of headless women or figures in cryptic scenarios. The visual temperature oscillates from vibrant pulpy aesthetics to cooler muted tones. The paintings create deliberate non-linear narratives, surreal fragments jumbled together offered to the viewer to unscramble and project their own meanings, connections and stories.
Jane Hughes (b. 1984, Dublin, Ireland) lives and works in Helsinki. Her work deals with beliefs, superstition, religion and social histories. She works with painting, drawing, video, installation and stop motion animation. The methods she uses feeds from diverse sources collecting curiosities from old historical picture books, literature, film and internet rabbit holes.
Hughes completed her BA in Fine Art at National College of Art & Design, Dublin in 2006. She earned her MA in Environmental Art at Aalto University, Helsinki in 2012 including, a one year Erasmus scholarship at the MA, Art in Context programme, University of Arts (UDK), Berlin (2010 – 2011). She previously worked as co-curator at artist run project space WerkStadt in Berlin (2010-2013).
Recent exhibitions include “The True Believer” at Laikku, Tampere (2020) and “Someone else’s Stories” a collaboration with Taru Kallio at Galleria Huuto, Helsinki (2020). Hughes has exhibited widely internationally in artist run spaces, galleries and museums including; Sorbus Galleria, Helsinki; Kerava Art Museum, Finland; Embassy of Ireland, Berlin; Grimmuseum, Berlin; Kunsthalle am Hamburgerplatz, Berlin and State Gallery of Kallingrad, Russia. She has taken part in several residencies in Germany, Finland, Iceland, Ireland and Sweden including; Stundars Art Museum, Solf, Finland; Mustarinda, Finland and Heinrich Böll Cottage, Achill Island, Ireland.
Her works are part of the collections of the Finnish State Art Commission, Arts Council of Ostrobothnia, HUS (Helsinki University Hospital), Finland and National Irish Visual Artists Library and in several private collections in Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland and Sweden.