Hughes’s interests lie in the idea of the ‘anti romantic,’ for him history seems so much more interesting, idealized, romantic and captivating than the present, and particularly and somewhat melancholy, the future. Hughes explores the idea of time, particularly in relation to memory, his work explores our emotional relationship with memory within the new, modern and digital age. Hughes utilizes a dark humor within his work, analyzing the coping mechanisms we manifest in order to deal with the uncertainty of our futures within the volatile world.
Hughes demonstrates a constant battle with language, exploring how language is translated from concept, into the materiality of the work and then out again. His work is constantly toying with ideas of representation, incorporating both abstract and literal forms within his practice.
“There’s both melancholy and humor in Richard Hughes’s work which explores (and sometimes unravels) the idea of sculpture as memorial. His work is physically engaging but intellectually subtle and quietly questioning too.”
– Tim Marlow: Head of Artistic Programs and Exhibitions at The Royal Academy.