Laura Hughes: The Tomb

Laura Hughes: The Tomb | March 23 - April 19, 2017

This exhibition offers a place of respite to contemplate dislocation of memory. A tomb is a site for remembrance and longing; a projection of what once was and an effort to preserve what is eternally embedded within. Light and shadow have a metaphorical connection to temporal presence and material loss. As light permeates reflective surfaces, spatial relationships are made malleable and fleeting, resulting in unstable moments that essentially disappear. What is buried in the tomb? Are the walls of the tomb history? What can we understand about the anticipatory foreboding in the idea of a tomb? Can feelings be unfettered there?

Continual shifts in the visibility of surfaces become momentary repositories for meaning. Perhaps material conditions and visual inventions could be seen as simultaneously concealing and revealing one another in an enduring revision of commemorative value.


Laura Hughes is a visual artist based in Portland, OR, who creates site-specific installations that investigate how light, form and space surround and shape one another in our perception. Directly responding to the given features of architectural space, she manipulates reflective materials and artificial or natural light to navigate dimensional relationships, intersecting planes, and shifting visibilities relative to surface, space and the movements of viewers.

Hughes’ work has been featured at Linfield College (McMinnville, OR), Fortune Gallery (Portland, OR), the de Menil Gallery (Groton, MA), Littman Gallery (Portland, OR), The Art Gym (Marylhurst, OR), LxWxH (Seattle, WA), Disjecta (Portland, OR), White Box (Portland, OR), the Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), Archer Gallery (Vancouver, WA), Gallery Homeland (Portland, OR), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR), Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR), Appendix Project Space (Portland, OR), the Portland Building (Portland, OR), Atelier Gallery (Vancouver BC), the Art Gallery of Calgary (Calgary, AB) and the Banff Centre (Banff, AB).

Hughes has been awarded multiple grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Ford Family Foundation and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She was a finalist for the 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards from the Portland Art Museum, received a 2012 Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, and has been nominated for the Brink Award at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. Hughes received an MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR), and a BFA in Drawing with Distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design (Calgary, AB, Canada). She is a professor of undergraduate and graduate studies and currently serving as Interim Chair of the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

This show was generously supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council

Thursday, March 23, 2017