Natalya Hughes
  • Natalya Hughes, 'The Interior', work in progress, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, and Milani Gallery.

  • Natalya Hughes, 'The Interior', work in progress, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, and Milani Gallery.

  • Natalya Hughes, 'The Interior', work in progress, 2021. Courtesy of the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf, and Milani Gallery.

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Natalya Hughes

The Interior

30 July–01 October 202230 Jul–01 Oct 2022

#TheInterior

Can we use the talking cure to solve society’s ‘problem’ with women? Natalya Hughes’s The Interior invites audiences into an exaggerated consultation room playfully furnished for psychoanalysis. This immersive installation combines sculptural seating, richly patterned soft furnishings, and uncanny objet d’art, nestled around a hand-painted mural to generate a stimulating space to unpack our collective and unconscious biases.

Interested in the role of women and their historical absence from positions of power, the part-professional part-domestic setting conjured by The Interior plays with gendered power dynamics between public and private space. The couches that dot the gallery take their lush contours from the shapes of the female body, and their detailed upholstery sees motifs of eyes, rats, and snakes from Freud’s patient case studies ripple over the space in fleshy tones.

Audiences are invited to recline and be enveloped, soothed, and held by the furniture’s womanly forms while taking turns playing analyst and patient. Throughout this bodily encounter The Interior hopes to create a space where the existence of women can be reimagined on different terms in the ‘post-Me Too’ world.

Natalya Hughes is the 2022 recipient of the Michela & Adrian Fini Artist Fellowship, awarded by Sheila Foundation.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Curated By
  • Tulleah Pearce
Artist Bio
Natalya Hughes

Natalya Hughes’s practice is concerned with decorative and ornamental traditions and their associations with the feminine, the body and excess. Recent bodies of work investigate the relationship between Modernist painters and their anonymous women subjects.

Hughes won the Sunshine Coast Art Prize in 2020 and was a finalist in both the Sulman Prize at Art Gallery of NSW and the National Works on Paper Prize at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in 2018, as well as the 2017 Ramsay Art Prize at Art Gallery of South Australia. Her work has been included in institutional exhibitions such as Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art (2019, 2017 and 2012), Artspace Sydney (2016), Hazelhurst Regional Gallery (2015), Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2009) and Tarrawarra Museum of Art, VIC (2006).

Hughes completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane in 2001 and a PhD in Art Theory at the College of Fine Art (UNSW) in 2009. She currently lives in Brisbane and is the Honours Program Director, Visual Arts at the Queensland College of Art. She is represented by Milani Gallery (Brisbane) and Sullivan +
Strumpf (Sydney).

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands where the IMA now stands. We pay our respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

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