Escape Artist is auto-biographical, a travel self-portrait that documents a form of escapism and yet it does so lightly without autobiographical heaviness.
Paola Anselmi, April 2015 – opening night speech, Escape Artist. Pablo Hughes, Heathcote Museum & Gallery, 18 April – 24 May 2015. Full Text
Justaposition stands not only as an exhibition but also as a provocation of the art gallery- a visualisation of the contentions surrounding its ontological space – that playfully subverts ingrained expectations and conventions of the ‘sacred white cube’.
Justaposition Review – Sarah Ridhuan – Associate curator at The Berndt Museum – Full Text
In the art world, ism’s typically signify art movements or styles. Ism’s can be defined as distinctive doctrines, systems, or theories. For example Absurdism is the doctrine that we live in an irrational universe. It is an attitude strongly in favor of or against a given group.
ISMS Media Release, 2014 – Full Text
Born in Dublin in 1975, Pablo Hughes is an artist and multidisciplinary photographer based in Perth. His parents were both ballet dancers and met while dancing for the Gulbenkian Dance Company in Portugal: with his mother, more recently, Head of Contemporary Dance at WAAPA for many years. Pablo ( has been inspired by his grandfathers photographic achievements, being a well known black and white photographer in Spain ). feels he has inherited his artistic skills from his famous grandfather – photographer José Maria Lara and his father’s own interest in visual art.
Pablo’s schooling was undertaken in Madrid and Australia. His family family travelled a lot and lived in many places, such as Vancouver, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, and Madrid. From a young age he has been exposed to many European galleries and museums and developed his interest in art history. He finished his schooling at Mt. Lawley High School in Perth, and then attended Edith Cowan University to study for a BA in Media Studies and Photo Media. Shaped by his parent’s background and his constant exposure during studying for his BA, Pablo’s interest in film transmuted into a more surreal and conceptual, abstract art photographic practice.
After graduating in 1998, he lived in London and Madrid for many years where he was influenced by many artist’s, particularly contemporary, conceptual and those belonginging to the Dadaist and Surrealist movements such as MarcelDuchamp, Antoni Tapies and more recently Italian, Alberto Burri. Their unique, experimental work resonating with him. Returning to Perth he worked at the Art Gallery of Western Australia as an art installer, and began entering local photographic competitions and winning awards. After acquiring a studio, his practice expanded to include installation, found objects and collage. The themes of his work are universal and socially engaged, with his subject matter often drawn from the country of his origin, Spain.
Pablo questions society through his practice, which often focuses on decay yet revels in the simplicity of the common place and religious iconography, with many photos taken during annual holidays in Palafrugell and sorrounding small villages in the Costa Brava. While walking the streets of these surrounding towns, he photographs the everyday, urban decay the unusual, reflections and abstract compositions. However, he avoids the traditional two-dimensional photographic approach and interweaves parallel narratives through other mediums to construct critical dialogues.
The narrative themes of Pablo’s work are inspired by contemporary issues locally and globally. He depicts change and transformation, whilst questioning socio-political systems and an evolving reality – whatever represents the shunned, or discarded. He shows the reality of life, finding a beauty in imperfection. The notion of displacement, both physical and conceptual, underpins his multidisciplinary enquiry.
By combining mediums and image associations and constructions, his work becomes ambiguous and unreal, stating that reality is stranger than fiction. Exhibitions such as Justaposition 2015 and Displaced in 2018 typify his approach, the former playfully subverting – with a sense of surrealist absurdity – the conventional expectation of what should be an exhibition space; the latter exposing the beauty in the decrepit and displaced subject matter. In both exhibitions, he interweaved parallel narratives, using other mediums, to construct critical dialogue.
Recent group shows include Invitation Art Prize 2019 at Joondalup, the Bunbury Biennale 2019 and a finalist in the CLIP Award at PCP 2019.