I’m Ellie Hughes, and I am an artist graduating from Kingston University in 2023. I work with a wide range of mediums, from film and performance to painting and sculpture. Much of my work uses bright colours with cute motifs and symbols, often celebrating cuteness for the joy that it can bring, and at times contradicting this cuteness with violent, religious, or sexual imagery. My work is influenced by abstract expressionist philosophies, and I work in an emotionally fuelled way to create work that feels genuine.

Approachability is an essential element of my work, as I aim to uphold an anti-prestigious practice; I am passionate about working towards a more open and accepting contemporary art viewing environment. Recently I have worked on interactive installation works such as C418 and My Heart Aches at the Thought of Leaving in order to create a comforting environment for viewers to immerse themselves in artwork, attempting to bridge the gap between viewer and artist, and rejecting ideas of contemporary gallery prestige and artwork preciousness. I use my practice as a method of emotional expression, and at times as a vessel for others to relate to myself or others through.

My work is heavily fuelled by a love for trinkets and collectibles and the effect they can have on mood, and the atmosphere of a space. I have recently been fascinated by connections between objects and nostalgia, and the complex range of emotions and memories that are associated with nostalgia. My explorations in cuteness and contradicting cuteness have been heavily influenced by Sianne Ngai’s essay The Cuteness of the Avant Garde, and her theories on the dark truths of cute imagery and branding. Overall, I find inspiration for work anywhere and everywhere, and work in a very dynamic and authentic way, I use photography to appreciate beautiful details in my surroundings, and express pride in my identity and personality through my work.

I create emotionally fuelled work in a wide range of mediums, often utilising a bright, cute, and messy style. With my work I aim to create a comfortable and approachable art viewing environment, working against the stereotypical prestigiousness associated with the contemporary art world.

Group Works