About this artwork
In the 1980s Hughes worked with the mentally ill in hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh. This experience powerfully affected his work which often evokes despair, agony and pain. Hughes has described ‘Apperception I’ as showing “… a deeply introverted head, symbolic of a state of mind that is completely self-obsessed, cut off from the rest of the world, balancing on a tightrope over a void, the tightrope that divides sanity from sanity… The red line (tightrope) can also be seen to represent literally the top of a sheet… so all we see is the patient’s head”.
Glasgow-born Ian Hughes attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee from 1976 to 80. He then won a travel scholarship and spent six months in Amsterdam. Later he moved to Edinburgh where his time was divided between his art work and nursing at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. His early work involved painting over ready-made photographed images. Recently he has relied more directly on the painted image. His work has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions.