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A BEACON OF LIGHT
What is Tender Kaleidescape?
From Saturday 28 May – Monday 6 June 2022, you can experience space, movement and sound in a site-specific artwork at Newcastle Cathedral by artist Alexandra Hughes.
Alexandra has created a kaleidoscopic journey through the Nave of printed and painted expressive imagery and you are invited to take time to walk through, explore and contemplate Tender Kaleidescape.
The spring equinox and the matrescence (the physical and psychological transition to becoming a mother) are themes which flow alongside captured, ephemeral qualities of water, air and light in a spatial and visual collage.
Alexandra considered symbolism and architecture within the Cathedral. A stitched emblem of a mother pelican plucking feathers from her chest to feed her chicks her blood at a time of drought, denoting the depths of a mother’s love and an act of self-sacrifice, resonated with Alexandra.
Tender Kaleidescape includes recent paintings (on paper and photographs) created during Alexandra’s transition into motherhood, seen in abstract and figurative imagery, including glimpses of her own daughter. These works hang alongside photographs and patterns on fabrics. The video piece and the vivid colour palette of blue, purple and pink seen throughout the installation come from a white wall, sky and river photographed and recorded on the Spring Equinox. This point in the year is when day and night, dark and light, are in equal balance, marking the start of spring – the season of new life, growth and renewal.
Extracted forms from stained glass windows within the Cathedral (including one made by female artist Caroline Townsend) were further sources of inspiration for the bold, playful shapes within the installation.
About the artist
Alexandra Hughes is an artist with a practice that brings the photographic image together with sculptural material, performative gesture and painting.
Alexandra creates installations that destabilise and re-create worlds: examining the boundaries of representation, material and imagination.
There is a focus in the work to reframe experiences of environments, seeking to challenge the binary of an environment ‘out there’ and a human subject ‘in here’.
Alexandra Hughes disseminates her practice widely through exhibitions, including Bridging The Distance, Four Corners Gallery, London (2021), Artists in the Field, Royal Geographical Society, London (2019), Liquid Land, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge (2018), Polyspace, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle upon Tyne (2016) and ROTOR, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2010).
Alexandra has been awarded a PhD, Northumbria University (2019) and MFA, The Slade School of Fine Art (2008).
This exhibition forms part of Newcastle Cathedral’s ‘Wellbeing & Discovery’ season which includes opportunities to try new skills, discuss important issues and spend time exploring what’s important to our individual and collective wellbeing.