Deb Hughes – livingpartsandwholes

My artistic practice is about exploring the ordinary. It sounds kind of pretentious but I view the event of my life as a slowly unfolding artwork in itself and making things is kind of incidental but utterly responsive to this.

When I opened the box from Alysha I had fixed in my mind the kind of work I wanted to create. I took out the carefully wrapped object to find …

an old computer drive.


I don’t know how this idea works with this object.

Well it doesn’t.

A computer hard drive. I have so many ideas, mostly about codes and secrets which intersect with my daughters current obsession with spies and runes and ciphers and the homeless man who is camping on the Masonic Lodge front porch at the corner of my street.

He has unpacked the bins and unearthed a treasure trove of old regalia and he talks in animated tones to me of radiation buried in our laneways, about microwaves that will infect your soul and other terrible consequences of our modern condition.

After a week or so he disappears, moved on, his carefully constructed array dismantled, his pavement shrine, the flag decor of old masonic ceremonial aprons discarded again for the bin truck to collect on Monday morning.

I have souvenired some objects from his absence, including this notebook in which I am recording my artistic experiments and ideas about this wretched hard drive.

So, there is it. What am I creating?

I don’t know.

It’s a secret.

Or a code, or the ravings of someone who has lost touch with normality. Well that’s probably all of us right now.

Mostly, It’s an experiment.

Everything is an experiment.

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1. Not To Be Take – repurposed souvenir spoon, remnants of hard drive, masonic lodge psalm book.

2. Only Barcodes are Binary Brooch – melted hard drive parts, recycled beads, hard drive remnant, recycled jewelry findings, found masonic lodge stationary.

3. Coding is for Girls – hard drive parts, recycled beads, recycled jewelry findings, found masonic lodge stationery.

4. Unwound Earring Set – hard drive parts, found and recycled jewelry findings, found masonic lodge stationery.

5. Protection fro Loose Screws Rosette – recycled bubble wrap, sculpy clay, hard drive remnants, found masonic lodge stationery.

All five artworks for sale by donation to Part of Things.

Deborah Hughes is living parts and wholes, #regional fashionista, multidisciplinary artist and theatre maker in rural South Australia.

Deb is visiting Australia from Great Kiwi Land. She currently lives in regional South Australia with most of her immediate family. She is a secondary school science teacher, former adventure guide, and ex Company Manger of D’faces, Whyalla’s multidisciplinary youth arts facility. Currently she is the Arts and Cultural Facilitator at the Whyalla City Council in partnership with Country Arts SA. Deb is also Living Parts and Wholes, an artistic practice that is really an indulgence of all she finds interesting. @livingpartsandwholes  She continues her involvement with D’faces as an active board member and drama facilitator.

She has a strong commitment to the transformative power of creative engagement, the importance of creativity to our young people’s lives, future and current economy and just generally because it makes the world a better and more interesting place to be.

She has managed multiple youth projects and community engagements from public art works to pop up events and exhibitions, workshops and theatre. She is currently working on several small public art interactions and a two person theatre work with her daughter ‘Advice from MY Mother’, based on two years of messenger exchanges as her daughter navigates adulthood.


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