At the age of 11, my parents gave me two life-changing gifts: a decent bike and oil paints. The bike gave me the freedom to venture out into the world and the paints to speak my truth. Much has changed since then, but not my heart and soul’s need to ride bikes and to share my voice through paint.
I’m a figurative painter who uses landscape and deeper abstraction to contextualize that genre. I love moving in and out of abstraction. We speak in different voices and I need to paint in different ones too. I hope you enjoy my work… and your own. Never be afraid to draw or paint!
About the artist
Ed Hughes was born in Liverpool, England in 1956. He emigrated to Canada aged 24 and now lives and paints in Victoria, Lekwungen territories and on Saltspring Island, Tsawout territories, BC. He works primarily in oil on canvas but uses a wide range of media and supports, painting with a pensive edge, often using surrealism to engage and challenge. That approach began in childhood, in response to the works of Magritte and Dali. With age, Ed’s artist-heroes have shifted to Colville and Diebenkorn and he now paints in more obtuse and indirect ways, leaving as much space as possible for the viewers' eyes and souls to work their own magic.
Ed began painting with oils at the age of 11 and never stopped. For the past seven years, he’s been able to work virtually full time in the studio but prior to that, he worked as a physician and medical researcher helping women and men deal with fertility issues. Ed continued to paint through those years and even included visual art as therapy for patients. With intermittent formal art training along the way, he has learned most from deep mentorships and a great deal of trial and error.
The radical beauty of British Columbia is now the charge and stimulus for Ed’s work. He rejoices in its extraordinary beauty but is profoundly saddened by the wilful destruction of B.C.'s nature and the ever present erosion and dismissal of indigenous rights. There are enough riches to go round without taking from others, now and in the future.
In 2021, Ed was a Salt Spring National Art Prize finalist. He has exhibited in dozens of group shows over the last 50 years and had a solo show at the Rosseau Gallery in 2014. Ed's academic degrees include an MB ChB and an MSc. He's also an Emeritus Professor at McMaster University.