Emma Lauren Hughes
My practice varies in terms of subject matter, from tackling issues regarding the wide umbrella of domestic issues traditionally affecting femmes and AFAB people - to the importance of finding comfort in materials through my textile work.
In the performance My Womb Belongs to You the viewer looks at the photographs (shot by @samjoyce.photos) through rose tinted glasses, which often happens when looking back to eras such as the 1940s. The links I make to the 1940s emphasise the negative aspects of the era in relation to how people with wombs were marginalised, and how reproductive health has been, and still is, controlled by outside forces.
I subvert the sweet sentimentality of the balloon by blocking out the word "heart", and replacing it with "WOMB" in bold lettering. The contrast between the original soft, slanted lettering and the bold capital letters is jarring which ensures the viewer isn't tricked by the colour palette and soft lighting into thinking this series is romantic in the slightest. The use of the terms 'my' and 'you' directly involves the viewer in an almost accusatory way. Irony is heavily implied with this series, as the balloon insinuates that a person's reproductive abilities are more important than the person themselves.
In contrast, Cysga’n Dawel is a piece dedicated to home and comfort, about nurturing the connection to my homeland through material. Living in Leeds during the pandemic has meant my visits to Wales have been few and far between, leaving me feeling disconnected from my family, culture and the sea. Repurposing materials once used in the home is important in my practice, for this piece in particular I transformed second-hand curtains and duvet covers into a quilt - the colours of which reflect the sea that I associate with home.
When it comes to my collage work I find I have more freedom to experiment with the materials - each piece tends to have its own meaning and this can change depending on the viewer. Some pieces such as Fireplace contain domestic aspects, while others like Fever Dream tend to be more abstract and focus more on the imagery of the piece itself. The ability to work in many different materials has always been important to me and this creative freedom and space to experiment keeps me motivated in my practice.