Looking Good and Feeling Fine
26th August – 7th October 2021
For their first solo show at Platform A and in the North East, Will Hughes will show a selection of sculptural works which focus on material language, personal experiences and class.
Looking good and feeling fine, is an installation of kinetic and static sculptural works produced over the last 3 years. The show brings together several older works and a few new additions that have been recontextualised by the addition of animal print tights and tanning mousse.
In February 2021 the US athlete Grant Holiday broke the world record for the indoors 60m Hurdles, but it was not this remarkable feat that caught Will’s eye (He had come very close at the last few meets), It was his Adidas shorts. He was wearing cheetah print, something Will had seen reserved for leggings, tights and casual wear. this recontextualisation of the print by Adidas is something they found captivating.
The narrative-based works Will creates uses both material histories and social standing to build layers of reference points and understanding into the sculpture. For this exhibition, they build on the narratives of the original works by using animal print to cloth the sculptures, adding a new dimension to the social histories and narratives within them. Reminding themselves of their working-class, social housing heritage and using the aesthetics which they so admired and saw around them growing up, like animal print tracksuits and heavy makeup. They look to champion these aesthetics and tastes within the installation of Looking good and feeling fine just as it had been elevated by Adidas with Grant Holidays shorts.
The title itself is taken from the song Fashion (2009) by Lady Gaga.
Will Hughes (They/Them) is a multidisciplinary artist with a studio at the Auxiliary in Middlesbrough. They have recently completed an MFA in Fine Art at the BxNU Institute (2019-21) in Newcastle. They explore human themes such as touch, belonging and sensuality, through the use of every day and constructed objects and their histories. Utilising surfaces and shine to create filmic moments, while using lyrics to title and contextualise the work.
In 2018 they were awarded the Kenneth Armitage young sculpture prize and in the same year also completed a year-long studio fellowship at Spike Island in Bristol.