Adriene Hughes is a San Diego based fine art photographer with an MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. She is a multi-media artist whose current body of work is based within the genre of grand landscape and the effects of global warming on the environment through the use of infrared technology, photography, video and multi-media installation. She is a finalist in Critical Mass 2018, has recently exhibited at Klompching Gallery in New York and is the recipient of the 2108 Rhonda Wilson Award. Her photographs have been featured in Lenscratch, Humble Arts Foundation, Don’t Take Pictures, PDN, Phroom Magazine, PhotoPhore, FeatureShoot, German Foto Magazine, and Crusade For Art. She currently is preparing for a large-scale photographic project at the San Diego International Airport.
The Resonance of Loss
I know this is unconventional to western thought, but I believe in reincarnation.
Like the Buddhists, I think we live life over and over again, until we get it right. The Arctic zones, Russia and frozen, cold lands resonate as a place I felt connected to. Ever since I was a child, I felt the Arctic in my bones.
Surviving cancer is also a part of my history. Cancer took all I had, and a part of me died and was reborn, so going to frozen landscapes, signifiers of my ancestral home, was a way to experience a part of my ancient self as I struggled to regain my creative powers post cancer.
Visiting the arctic was also a way for me to connect to the calming, sublime aspect of nature, as my mind and soul needed to heal, in addition to my body. On the top of the world, in the far North, there is no sound but the wind. Occasionally, one might see a migratory bird, but other than that, there is nothing but an expanse landscape of tundra and ice.
This project lives in four distinct chapters, and each codifies the experience of the places I've explored. Each is marked by geometric patterns (either hand sewn, or marked through illustration) to demonstrate the way wind, language and memory travel, carving into icebergs the stories of the past, present and future. Geometric pattern mirrors the sacred viewpoints of indigenous and religious practices throughout time, viewing the earth as sacred.
Lacking noticeable objects in the landscape, we are left with nothing but shapes, color and light. All of which combined to affect my mood, and to impact my emotions, which I hope comes through in my work.
Let me be clear: this land is in jeopardy. The warming of the Earth is shape-shifting the structure and balance of our collective ecosystem, and the threat to all living species is real. Greenland is melting at an alarming rate, and with it our future. I feel the urgency, and I want you to feel it as well, to be called into action, to think of our footprint on this earth as a serious consequence of all that we do.
Making these images healed me. My time in the landscape, and the act of photographing it, has brought me back to life, and more than anything, I want to honor and respect the nature that made me, before it's gone.
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