Barry W Hughes – Guest Lecturer

Barry W Hughes gave an inspiring lecture to our photography class which consisted of him telling us about his home life, his work and his influences. It was a very interesting and eye opening lecture. I made notes throughout. He even gave us tips on how to make it in the industry and tips on how an established artist works in daily life. He was extremely down to earth and joked with us too. I definitely took away inspiration and new knowledge from this lecture. Here is the summary of my notes and how his words and presentation affected me and my views on art and photographic practice:

One thing that amazed and inspired me about his work was how thought out everything was and how many honest links his work made to culture, life and science.

Bodies of work he talked about


He was interested in the static of the TV when moving to the camera sensor. He told us how this related to Metastatic Cancer. The mist and dust show that something has been disturbed and we don’t know what. His photographs showed us the static interference from photographing the TV.


He started by explaining that a three year old asked where his estranged grandfather was, “is he? What planet is he on?” This gave Hughes the inspiration for his project UFO. He took old ‘Failed’ photographs of family members and scanned them in and placed a blurred UFO somewhere in the image using photoshop.

Hughes father was the ‘grandfather’ and in the images was always turned away, not quite there? And this pairs with the UFO and being on a different planet. He also said how this links to the news and conspiracies – “someone or something being there or NOT being there.”


He wanted each image to be able to successfully stand alone.

He took inspiration from Nasa’s Near-Earth object program.

Hughes explained how, “All the crap floating around the planet can collide with us at any time.”

The making of the photographs was completely studio based, handmade and relating to real star constellations.

He told us that one of these images was actually an accident.


This project reminds me of the exhibition at Cambridge folk museum by name

Create images and artwork even when things go wrong – ideas and new leads everywhere

It surprised and impressed me by how many links there seemed to be in everything hughes worked on. I would like to take this away from this lecture.

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