Brisbane based artist Peter Hughes likes to paint people in situations he reads about in newspaper articles, has seen on the television or YouTube, or reads about on the internet. Peter’s artworks often respond to natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Japan and Christchurch, and the Queensland floods. However, he also draws inspiration from social experiences and observations, recently focusing on family interactions. The narrative behind each artwork is important, and text has become a strong feature of his painting style. Painting enables him to communicate and process his experiences, thoughts and feelings.
Peter Hughes currently prefers to work with acrylic paint on canvas. He utilises rich and bright colours to paint distinctive cartoon-like figures, combined with textual descriptions of the subject matter. The art making process frequently begins with documenting the narrative, and drawing sketches in his art journal. These initial ideas are then transferred to the canvas.
As a member of the Brisbane Outsider Artists’ Studio (BOA), Peter Hughes is able to access a range of high quality exhibition opportunities. In 2012 through the support of the BOA studio program, Peter Hughes’ artwork Eleanor was announced as the winner of the Arts Access Australia Art Prize, the first national art prize for artists experiencing disability. In 2012 Peter also exhibited in Thailand as part of Polyphonic: Many Voices Many Styles, in Sydney as part of the Practice in Motion exhibition at the Australia Council for the Arts, and at the Brisbane Square Library as part of the Fusions exhibition. In 2011 twelve of Peter Hughes’ artworks were acquired by the Museum of Everything in London.