Claire Hughes

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“The player on the other side is hidden from us.” Aldous Huxley

Claire Hughes’s photographs do not make for easy viewing. These are pictures which absorb light, or emit darkness. They present us with a claustrophobic space that excludes any sense of a world beyond the confines of its own oppressive interior. Although some aspect of their subject may appear familiar – children, a young couple, the self-conscious posing of adolescent girls – these images will never sit alongside smiles and birthdays in a family album. They display a domesticity of an altogether different order, where infants emerge from shadows entranced by the flickering glow of a solitary candle and an ownerless arm reaches for its gun. This is a world that we perhaps would rather not see, a suffocating arena in which we cannot help but sense a threat, something askew, a tension and an as yet unplaceable presence which shrouds the domestic in a feeling of disorder.

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Published in Photoworks Issue 5, 2005

Commissioned by Photoworks


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