Richard Hughes makes intricate illusions that trick the viewer while, at the same time, laying their artifice bare. His sculptures and installations resemble the aftermaths of good times gone sour. Bags of jettisoned old clothes, rising damp, burnt-out hedges and surreptitious bottles of urine – dog-end residues which hint at elaborate histories. Culturally specific, his works tap into shared memories and the bittersweet feelings reserved for things past their best while revealing themselves to be shams.
For the Sculpture Garden outside Tate Britain, Hughes has created a three-dimensional replica of the lens flare that flashes across the image when filming in strong sunlight - a phenomenon steeped in nostalgic sentimentality. Using physical objects to suggest a refracted ray of light, Hughes' sculpture is deliberately and provocatively at odds with its subject matter.
Richard Hughes was born in the outskirts of Birmingham in 1974, and lives and works in London. He has been nominated for this year’s Beck’s Futures award.