It’s not surprising I’m drawn to these so-called landscapes by Shara Hughes. They remind me of Matthew Wong’s mysterious mindscapes and Odilon Redon’s poetic paintings, whose work I’ve shared on these pages as well. The real and surreal, the interior and exterior, the symbolic and psychological wrap around and feed each other. You enter places that feel real and dreamlike at the same time. Beautiful and disturbing, fluid and chaotic, lush and luminous.
Her current show “Time Lapsed” at the Kunstmuseum Luzern in Switzerland includes this statement about her work: “These fantasy landscapes satisfy our need for beauty on the one hand, but also arouse a slight uneasiness on the other. The nature depicted seems irrepressible and at times even threatening in its exuberant fullness. Shara Hughes’s landscapes are mood pictures that convey feelings, emotions, or memories.”
Perhaps that’s why they feel familiar, like some otherworldly place I’ve been before—evoking dreams, memories, emotions that wait just below the surface and lure me inward.