Farida Hughes portrait by Mary Gardella
Photo by Mary Gardella Photography

I am an abstract visual artist working with oil paint and resin, an exciting and sometimes unforgiving combination that allows me to experiment with transparency and color in unique ways. Through abstraction, my work explores human relationships, human behavior, and group energy and movement often imagined from above. In contrast to my many compositions of groups, I also investigate the micro-stories of individuality. I examine relationships created in temporary spaces, either staged or spontaneous, in public areas used for passage, performance, exhibition, protest and celebration and use those moments of connection to develop an image. Inspiration derives from intimacies developed and discovered within large crowds, whether we come together by coincidence at street crossings, or gather with common conviction and intent. As individual stories intersect, they create landscapes of synchronization, self-segregation, and inter-dependency. I am able to tell stories through translucent layers of color, blending areas of tension and negative space with energized forms, ultimately looking for harmony and balance. Responding to the moments of the 2020 pandemic, my artwork has become more inward. Influenced by the mindfulness of staying in place, I am currently exploring notions of a metaphoric inner human light, the interior glow of domestic spaces, and my growing ability to see forms in darkened spaces, imagining landscapes that I cannot travel to, observing natural light and considering the metaphoric light that connects us to people and to communities. I often work in series, one of which I call Blends, which focuses on the blending of a person’s past cultural histories and ethnicity. Each unique individual in my paintings of groups retains its own beauty yet is an important part of the whole and cannot be overlooked.


Read more about the Blends and Common Threads series