Skip to content

Field, Verse III (2007-09)

Slideshow Thumbnails Back to Series
Image #1

#1, 2009

C-type print

20 x 16 in., edition of 8
20 x 24 in. or 40 x 32 in., edition of 8
60 x 40 in., edition of 3

Image #4

#4, 2009

C-type print

20 x 16 in., edition of 8
20 x 24 in. or 40 x 32 in., edition of 8
60 x 40 in. print, edition of 3

Image #5

#5, 2009

C-type print

20 x 16 in., edition of 8
20 x 24 in. or 40 x 32 in., edition of 8
60 x 40 in., edition of 3

Image #6

Image #6 of the serie.

All images in Aspects of Field, Verse III, available as: 

20 x 16 in. print, edition of 8
20 x 24 in. or 40 x 32 in. print, edition of 8
60 x 40 in. print, edition of 3

Image #7

#7, 2009

C-type print

20 x 16 in., edition of 8

20 x 24 in. or 40 x 32 in., edition of 8
60 x 40 in., edition of 3

"I had regularly found myself deeply alarmed by the level of destructiveness that accompanies the desire for economic growth, but this localised study of nature eventually offered glimpses of our salvation whilst extending my own metaphysical musing.

"Looking back on these investigations whilst becoming increasingly distanced from the world's material desires, I have discovered the temporality of everything. We are here now but soon we are gone, and so too the impressions we make upon the world. By nature our existence is superfluous but the natural world thrives in our absence."

"The complexities of the work faded as I grew in this knowledge. It is as though a process of resurfacing has enabled me to consider stretching further afield to re-approach the outside world with hope. Communion with nature ultimately proves a cathartic experience and its curative powers essential to the growth of humanity."

"The walker in the familiar fields… sometimes finds himself in another land than is described in their owners’ deeds, as it were in some faraway field… the world with which we are commonly acquainted leaves no trace." Henry David Thoreau, Walking

Nicholas Hughes


Nicholas Hughes was born in Liverpool in 1963 and studied photography at the London College of Communication. From an early age, he was a passionate environmentalist. His understanding of how the natural world has suffered for the benefit of corporate profit led him into fundraising for an environmental advocacy group.

At the same time, Hughes grew increasingly aware of the fragility and preciousness of nature and began studying the landscapes around him. Inspired by thoughtful, socially conscious writers like Thoreau and Seamus Heaney, and deeply influenced by the effects of the Chernobyl disaster on nearby North Wales, Hughes dedicated himself to the task of addressing humanity’s increasingly problematic relationship with nature — while avoiding the pitfalls of polemical and topical documentation in a world already supersaturated with images of destruction and decay.

Hughes' work expresses both universal Romantic themes and a contemporary environmental sensibility. His concerns lie in the space between the world that people inhabit and the world that nature still claims as its own, as well as in a resurrection of the human sense of wonderment before nature. Martin Barnes, senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, observes that Hughes’ recent series Aspects of Cosmological Indifference combines the ethereal with the ecological, and the earthly with the epic. The vast distances between human and cosmos are collapsed, and in the inertness of space, light and color come alive, producing a series of celestial portraits in which the same sky shows a different face each time. “The images are desolate, almost bleak, but there seems to be a calm about them,” Sarah Nardi wrote of Hughes’ early series Edge. “They seem to reassure us that the existence of life or the lack thereof is inconsequential to the universe.”

Hughes’ theoretical concerns are borne out in his artistic process, which marries the analog to the digital as deftly as it does the physical to the atmospheric. Hughes’ meditations on the threat of ecological destruction simultaneously pay homage to a set of endangered photographic skills and resources. In each rich, vivid print, the light and color that animates the earth and sky seem diffused in the image itself.

Hughes' work has been shown in over sixty group and solo exhibitions worldwide, as well as at the world's major international art fairs in Paris, Los Angeles, and New York. His photographs can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Gana Art Center, Seoul, South Korea; the Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall, England; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, which selected his work to appear in a travelling exhibition in India in 2010. His work has been featured in numerous journals and magazines, including Next Level, Hotshoe International, The Photographer, and The British Journal of Photography, and was included in the Harvard University Press publication Photography and the Art of Chance in 2015. Hughes published his first limited-edition book, Aspects of Cosmological Indifference, in 2013, and is currently at work on a forthcoming monograph titled Nowhere Far.

Nicholas Hughes is based in the United Kingdom.

Selected Exhibitions

When frost was spectre-grey, The Photographers' Gallery, London, England

Wonder Current: Nicholas Hughes l Malcolm Opie, CANAL Gallery, London, England 

Ulsan International Photography Festival, South Korea

2010- 2011
Something That I'll Never Really See: Contemporary Photography from the Victoria & Albert Museum
Bhau Dhaji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India
Salur Jung Museum, Hyderabad, India
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India 
National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore, India

Collectors' Favorites, Duncan Miller Gallery in conjunction with the Photographic Arts Council of the LA County Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Histories of Photography: Outstanding photographs from the permanent collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

Passages of Time – Light, Form and Reflection, Edge, Houston Fotofest, Houston, Texas

Landscape Views & Visions, 5th International Photo Festival, Gana Art Centre, Seoul, South Korea