Ian Hughes is a Glasgow born artist, he trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee and has been living in Edinburgh for the past 30 years, spending much of his time researching areas in Poland and Russia affected by the Holocaust. He gained reputation during the late eighties exhibiting with Ken Currie, Peter Howson and David Mach in the ground breaking Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art exhibition ‘The Vigorous imagination’ and went on to have a solo exhibition dedicated to his work. Hughes’ career has spanned album artwork for musicians such as Peter Gabriel and Wet Wet Wet and commissions of celebrities such as Nick Nairn, however, his personal practice is spurred by the censorship surrounding the Holocaust, identifying it as a “… sanitised event, scientific and bloodless.”
Hughes’ work deliberately uses shocking techniques as a metaphor for the true horror of the Holocaust. Hughes has extensively visited Poland and Russia and moved by his experiences went on to explore the tragedy through photographic, painting and sculptural elements. The works, in style of religious icons are inspired by the words of Lamentations 3:52 – ‘Mine enemies, chased me sore, like a bird, without cause…’ examining the contagious atavist effect the Holocaust had on Europe, Russia and elsewhere, forcing the viewer to engage with the discomfort of the atrocities.