Season 2 Episode 12 – Susan Hughes – Artist, Musician, and Filmmaker
Susan Hughes is from Belfast. She has completed many artist residencies in Ireland and Scandinavia where she has used her fiddle playing as a bartering tool to gain access to local stories. She graduated in 2021 from the University of Ulster receiving the Centre for Contemporary Art (Derry) and Platform Arts (Belfast) graduate awards and was longlisted for the Royal Dublin Society graduate award.
Hughes is led by stories down roads of research arriving at the production of artworks in the form of video, installation, and sculpture. She and her subjects describe deeply personal physical and physiological sensations while being inside their bodies, inside intense encounters with nature. Language is used as a malleable material creating space for alternative narratives to be invented. Manufactured materials such as electrical light, digital video, and bright perspex have been effective in their artifice as tools to explore and express these natural, yet often psychedelic, sensual experiences. She is interested in the interaction of human and non-human at the edges of seas and mountains where the membrane between this world and the otherworld seems to be thin enough to briefly pass through. “Evidenced by the upsurge during lockdown of the popularity of sea swimming and gardening, it’s catching on: this thing of grabbing onto rocks, being held tightly by cold water, plunging a hand deep into earth, lingering there for a bit too long, indulging in this touch. Surely I’m not the only person who sneakily licks salt residue off my own arm?”