Artist And Editor Barry W Hughes Uses Found Family Photographs As Source Material For The Digital Photobook UFO
Barry W. Hughes (born Dublin, Ireland. Lives and works in London, UK) is a photographer, writer and publisher. His photography and video works have been published and exhibited internationally, including solo shows in Ireland, Germany and China. The founding editor/publisher of SuperMassiveBlackHole online photography magazine (SMBHmag), Hughes is a contributing writer to Hotshoe magazine, and has curated exhibitions, reviewed portfolios and given talks for the likes of The Photographers’ Gallery, Belfast Exposed, Sirius Arts Centre, PhotoIreland Festival, Belfast Photo Festival, and PhotoBook London.
This specially produced digital photobook, UFO, uses found family photographs of the artist’s estranged father taken before the artist and his siblings were born. The images show his father before, during and after he and Hughes’ mother were married in the late 1970s, and in each case the images also depict strange ‘flying saucers’ in the skies above the protagonist, combining a sense of humour with pathos, and fusing family mythology with science-fiction.
When my three-year-old niece asked her father, my brother, where his father was he replied “he’s working far away”. With the truth being that our father has been estranged from our family for nearly 16 years, my niece then asked “Is he? What planet is he on?” Of course, we don’t actually know.