Susan Hughes 

I like a good compelling story, a bit of drama. Don’t we all?


The ‘dolly zoom’ sensation experienced mid point between two land masses when rowing for twelve hours.

​Asking the animals of the mountain for mercy in a state of advanced dehydration.

Observing the journey of jellyfish venom through one’s bloodstream.

Distorted visual perception within thick sea mist. 

The experiences which form the content of my work are complex and multi dimensional. I and my subjects (this year Niamh Scullion, rower with Lagan Currachs, and Morna McKittrick, a hill walker) describe deeply personal physical and physiological sensations while being inside our bodies, inside intense encounters with nature.  I use language as a malleable conceptual and visual material creating space for alternative narratives to be invented. Crisp text, electrical light/digital video, and bright perspex are effective in their artifice as tools to explore and express these natural, yet often psychedelic, sensual experiences.  


Through a process of interviewing, writing, transcribing, crafting and analysis I have been abstracting and retelling stories. Outcomes have been in the form of video and installation.


Evidenced by the upsurge during lockdown of the popularity of sea swimming and gardening, it’s catching on: this thing of grabbing onto rocks, being held tightly by cold water, plunging a hand deep into earth, lingering there for a bit too long, indulging in this touch. 

Surely I’m not the only person who sneakily licks salt residue off my own arm?

MFA written summary

Photos by Paul Mashall