In response to the changing aesthetic and formation of the Old Fire Station Site, Sarah Hughes has created a series of 60 books which articulate her reception of the space. Text is positioned against a series of images taken at various points of the Fire Station's refurbishment. The quality of the prints, a dense and heavy print suggestive of the rich history of the site, is juxtaposed by fragments of text and text extractions which portray the quality of the aesthetic, the insatiable reflection and the indispensable quality of space.
Between September 28th and October 2nd 2011, these books will be made freely available throughout public spaces in the centre of oxford, offering a sideward glance of the forthcoming site, which, through its redevelopment, offers an opportunity for an interconnected arts space, cafe, auditorium, and study centre for single homeless people in the city.
"Hughes' practice involves the arrangement of objects. Treating the installation environment as an abstract plane Hughes composes her installations in response to the circumstances and situation of the exhibition. The work is a result of Hughes' understanding of the gallery space not simply as a neutral container for art but as a tool in itself. Hughes' installations are characterized by a sculptural economy and a highly refined sensitivity to materials. They are environments that proffer potential and ambiguity, rich with associative possibility they are spaces with which the viewer is free to construct their own narratives.
In the exhibition objects are placed in a dialogic relationship with each other and with the exhibition space. Individual objects remain fundamentally individual yet, as an installation, have a cumulative identity. These relationships of scale and the varied positions from which a work can be interpreted are ideas that the installation explores. Hughes' work posits itself as an incitement, a discreet provocation to address our tacit understanding of the material and formal relationships that make up experience of the world." Thom O'nions, Supplement Gallery