Heather Hughes 2011/2012
I am fascinated by the relationship between artists, their process and techniques of artistic creation, and the preference for left or right brain dominance. The division of the human brain is complex, intriguing and influences everyone to a varying degree. I am interested in this division; the differences housed in the characteristic traits that define the left and right hemispheres of every human brain. Brain dominance has shaped artists’ innovative methods of artistic practice, which have ultimately enhanced our Canadian contemporary art culture. Artists are bringing new forms of expression and material into their work, thereby engaging and targeting many types of audience.
I am constantly exploring diverse painting techniques characteristic to right and left-brain thinking in my work. Descriptors of the left and right side brain functions such as controlled vs. uncontrolled, reality vs. fantasy, logic vs. feeling, facts vs. imagination, and words vs. symbols, all conjure a vivid vision. I strive to create paintings that illustrate both left and right brain functions; emphasizing highly realistic imagery and highly abstract reflections to generate creative exchange between artistic creations and the audience.
My work explores the physical and emotional nature of perception and preference for left or right brain dominance. My recent work explores themes of Canadian identity, icons, and images of symbols. Inspired by my summer trip across Canada in 2009, from Vancouver to Toronto, many of my works are derived from photographs taken on this journey driving across the provinces. These photographs became references for producing both representational and abstract possibilities of painting through various techniques and experimentation of these methods. By creating a diptych of one subject, I could work in two different ways; extremely practically by meticulously replicating the photograph into a painting and intuitively by tapping into my emotions and experimenting by with new materials and techniques. It is my intention for these diverse methods of work to provoke dialogue and interest around brain dominance to allow for new dimensions of interaction and perception in Canadian art culture.