Flowers Central starts the year with a spectacular show of new
paintings by Patrick Hughes. The exhibition focuses on the city of
Venice, one of the artist's most striking themes. Following on from
the highly praised show,Permanentspective,in January 2006, Hughes
usesthe unique imagery of this floating city to further investigate
the celebrated powers of his 'reverse perspective'.
The three-dimensional images challenge perceptions of reality.
They raise and illuminate puzzling questions about the nature of
art and representation. Just as the Cubism of Picasso and Braque
aimed 'to get rid oftrompe l'oeiland to find atrompe l'esprit,
Hughes questions the workings of the mind and the habitual
certainties of the viewer. The techniques of reverse perspective
present the world the 'wrong' way round; the viewer is forced to
see the picture as going in where it protrudes and vice versa.
Closer inspection reveals the mechanics of the illusion; yet even
with this in mind the viewer's eyes cannot stop the visual magic
from working. The fascination in this work lies in the revelation
that the mind cannot necessarily see what it 'knows' to be true.
Reflection and colour, and the brilliant use of shadow and
variation of pictorial depth, are employed to startling effect in
this show - as demonstrated inCast of Shadows, 2006, shown above.
The canals and intricate Venetian buildings, leading to the
stunning vistas beyond, provide the perfect imagery for masterful
illusions, which in truth are no more illusory than supposed