For several years Hobart Hughes (aka John Hughes) has been ‘dropping’ plaster sculptures in places like bookshops, people’s front yards, parks, the Art Gallery of NSW and Sculpture by the Sea; granting his creations new lives with whoever finds them.
‘I want to break down and reinvent for myself the relationship between making art and finding an audience,’ says Hughes. The renegade practice allows him to bypass the commercial gallery system and do things on his own terms, reaching a wide group of people who might not ordinarily go to exhibitions.
Hughes, who also works with and teaches animation and performance, first got interested in the idea of found objects when he was walking through a national park and came across a spinning object someone had left in the river. It gave him a feeling of having made a discovery and a connection, and got him thinking about his own practice.
The human head forms – which are often distorted to be simultaneous multiple perspectives of the same face – are all left with notes attached to them so the people who happen upon them are directed to Hughes’ website to learn about the various characters. In the future he plans to develop the dialogue of the characters with animation programs, making them interact and have ongoing narratives. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled: art could be hiding anywhere. hobarthughes.com