Amy Hughes has a fascination with vases, largely fuelled by the 18th century, resulting in collections which aim to bridge the gap between the past and the present, finding a new home in contemporary culture for such objects creating a ‘modern decadence’, whilst paying homage to and referencing the originals. Learning from the past; skills used and traditions taught, is fundamental to her as a practitioner.
British Amy Hughes’s practice is both fuelled by and symbolic of the highly prestigious Porcelain wares produced at the Royal Sèvres Factory in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Hughes’ works reference and pay homage to the originals, but are created with a freer approach, giving them a new lease of life.
After Alhambra pieces take inspiration from the large lustre vases produced during the Nasrid Dynasty (the last Muslim Dynasty in the Iberian peninsula, ruling Granada) in the 14th and 15th centuries which became romantically known as 'Alhambra Vases', and of which only 8 remain in semi-intact existence today. The skill, the legend, the intrigue surrounding these vases captivated and fuelled my fascination to explore a contemporary response to the stunning relics. The forms, the two wing-like handles, the horizontal decorations all reference the originals, the rawness in composition and materiality nodding to their faded beauty. Drawing studies of their intricate surface pattern have been enlarged and explored on the coil and slab built forms creating exciting pattern and shape with a colourful and lively approach.